Nick Dostal was appointed executive chef of Sixteen in January 2017 after two years serving as chef de cuisine at the two Michelin-starred restaurant, working in lockstep with his predecessor and longtime friend and mentor, Thomas Lents.
Chef Dostal oversees all culinary endeavors at Sixteen. With a contemporary approach to American cuisine, he aims to inspire the staff to continually evolve, both in culinary and beverage programs. Under his direction at Sixteen, guests are treated to a menu incorporating modern cooking techniques balanced with a respect for simple, classic techniques that honor the ingredients and those who source them.
“I deeply believe that true, successful and honest hospitality is rooted in putting love into everything you do,” said Chef Dostal. “Appreciating the ‘lesser cuts’ for what they can be when love is applied is a cornerstone of my culinary philosophy. I find a lot more joy and satisfaction in showcasing how good the ‘stems and shanks’ can be with a little bit of love.”
A native of the Chicagoland area, Chef Dostal was introduced to the culinary world cooking together with his family and officially entered the industry in high school, washing dishes at a local restaurant. From there, he worked his way up to prep cook and became interested in formal training by way of culinary school.
After taking summer classes at Le Cordon Bleu Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Chef Dostal attended Johnson & Wales University in Denver. While in school, he worked at more than seven different restaurants in the Denver area and traveled to France to continue expanding his skills in classic techniques. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in culinary nutrition and associate degree in culinary arts from John & Wales University, Chef Dostal moved to Vail, Colorado for a position in the kitchen at Larkspur Restaurant. He then moved to San Francisco for a position at Michelin-rated Quince where he first met Chef Thomas Lents, chef de cuisine at the time.
Chef Dostal eventually returned to Chicago where he held esteemed positions at the three Michelin star Grace – which he opened as executive sous chef alongside Chef Curtis Duffy – as well as at Ria, where he served as chef de partie. Chicago’s esteemed Jean Banchet Awards recognized his talent in 2017 with a nomination in the Best Chef de Cuisine category. Outside of the kitchen, Chef Dostal enjoys traveling and bonsai, drawn to the calm, delicate and patient demeanor required.