Brenton Balika serves as the Executive Chef of Margeaux Brasserie & Petit Margeaux, the two French restaurants from the Michelin Star and James Beard award-winning Chef Michael Mina at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. There Balika’s classically trained culinary education combined with a love for locally sourced products and a professional background in a variety of hospitality operations provides guests with a unique dining experience.
Balika’s culinary skills were nurtured at an early age growing up in the farm-to-table Midwest environment among a family who cooked and dined together seven nights a week. As a young boy, Balika recalls running home from school to watch cooking shows on television and helping his grandmother with her garden in the summer. After working in restaurants from at the age of 15, Balika transformed his passion into his studies and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America New York in 2004.
With a degree in hand, Balika focused on working in various culinary capacities at notable hospitality and restaurant groups around the world, commencing with Chicago’s Charlie Trotter’s, where his fascination for wine and artisanal cheese making first began. Balika moved to Las Vegas where he worked under the direction of Charlie Trotter vet Chef Bradley Odgen at his eponymous Caesars Palace restaurant. Balika’s contributions were realized when the restaurant received a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.