Jessica Nowicki brings a sense of balance, integrity and elegance to her profession that belies her eight years in the professional culinary world. As Executive Chef at Chicago’s acclaimed bar and bistro, The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet, Nowicki is one of the emerging talents in the American food scene. Her approach is light-handed and completely void of pretense, as she believes in letting the subtle flavor profiles of fresh, seasonal ingredients shine through. Her attention to detail and focus on presentation make even the simplest of dishes feel celebratory.
Born in the rural community of Mars PA, Nowicki discovered the joy of cooking at a young age. Her passion was ignited when she began preparing meals for her four older siblings – her steak tartare (among other delights) became the glue that strengthened family bonds.
Nowicki channeled her youthful exuberance and enrolled in New York’s Culinary Institute of America. After earning her Culinary Arts degree, she headed to Chicago to hone her craft at establishments like Naha and Brindille. Before joining The Lunatic, she was Executive Chef at acclaimed micro caterer IVY at OMB.
Nowicki has developed a menu with innovative takes on classic bistro fare for The Lunatic. Her creativity and professionalism have contributed to the establishment’s early accolades, including being named one of Chicago’s hottest restaurants by Chicago Magazine and Zagat, as well as earning recognition for serving one of Chicago’s best burgers in The RedEye’s annual “Battle of the Burgers” competition.