|Chris de La Cueva|
CHRIS DE LA CUEVA
Angeles City, Philippines –born, Southern, IL- bred, Chef Chris de la Cueva is best known for his out-of-the-box yet comfort style of cooking. His art is focused around the freshest cuts of meat and local seasonal ingredients, allowing him to serve the most unique flavor profiles. He plays up the comfort food game by changing specific spices and ingredients in these traditional dishes, sparking new creations.
De La Cueva has worked in the restaurant industry since he was 15 years old and fell in love with cooking at a very young age. Adopted into a military family, de la Cueva was on his own for many meals, due to schedule differences, leading him to find his own take on culinary art. Inspired by Food Network, food magazines and celebrity chefs, de la Cueva takes every dish to its ultimate potential.
De la Cueva was encouraged by his first culinary mentor, Chef Robert Ihle to compete in the culinary arts and baking Skills USA competition where he placed 2nd in Regionals and top 20th in State, through his trade school, Orleans Niagara BOCES.
Following his graduation from trade school, de la Cueva studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. He has also competed in some of Chicago’s best culinary competitions including Culinary Fight Club Rib-fest in Chicago, where he placed 3rd. He doesn’t cater to a specific audience, but instead creates diverse taste to compliment any palate.
When Chef de la Cueva was 18 years old he took his first internship at a small sports bar. He gained much experience from this but later met a connection who worked for Bottleneck Management Company and was given the opportunity to become Executive Chef at local bar, Drum and Monkey. This was a huge challenge and great opportunity as it was his first go as an Executive Chef. Deciding to further his career, Chef de la Cueva took his skills to The Scout Waterhouse and Kitchen where he worked as their Executive Chef. His risk-taking nature and creative ability led him to shy away from the traditional sports bar scene leading him to Rhyme or Reason.
Rhyme or Reason in Wicker Park will give de la Cueva an opportunity to be unique yet traditional and allow him to serve all types of clientele. An upgrade from his traditional bar food background, de la Cueva is thrilled to create dishes that are both comforting yet modern at the same time. Rhyme or Reason will embody what chef loves, a place where people can gather to listen to music and socialize while bringing lively food to the table.