While pursuing a degree in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Rob worked as a dishwasher and prep cook. He soon moved on to be a line cook at Timpone’s, the “best restaurant in Urbana.” Rob then worked at Le Titi de Paris in Arlington Heights, Illinois before heading East to attend the Culinary Institute of America. During and after his time at the CIA Rob worked at the Park Avenue Café in Manhattan. Eventually he left New York City to work in Chicago.
Since moving back to Chicago Rob has worked at Fiddlehead Cafe, del Toro, North Pond and 312 Chicago. Rob and his wife Allison opened their restaurant, mado, in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago in April 2008. After three years of critical acclaim for their local, sustainable, whole animal approach to cooking, they decided to take the next step by opening The Butcher & Larder, an evolution of their years of experience working with farmers and doing what they can to bring responsibly raised local meat to their community.
In January 2015, Rob announced that after four years fostering a loyal following at his Milwaukee Avenue butcher shop, The Butcher & Larder would partner with Local Foods to expand their business. The Butcher & Larder gains access to roughly 3,000 square feet in the customer-focused retail center and 4,000 square feet for classes, demonstrations and wholesale distribution, meaning more whole animals for Chicago’s chef and restaurant community as well as more unusual cuts and steadier inventory supplies for his retail customers.
The Butcher & Larder has been recognized for excellence in their craft by Food & Wine, GQ, The Travel Channel, The Food Network, The Good Food Awards and more. Rob is proud to operate Chicago’s first local, sustainable, whole animal butcher shop.