2020 Talent
Monketh Alaridi
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar

When your first professional introduction to the hospitality industry is at the largest restaurant in the world, capable of serving 6,000 guests at once, you’d ...MORE

Serafin Alvarado, MS
Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

Serafin Alvarado’s love of wine began more than decade ago, as a room service waiter for Hilton Hotels in his native Puerto Rico...MORE

Bryant Anderson
Eris Brewery and Cider House

Chef Bryant Anderson is a culinary graduate and has been cooking professionally in and around Chicago for over 15+ years. Anderson previously worked ...MORE

Lindsey Anderson-Perez
Uvae Kitchen & Wine Bar

Owner and Sommelier of Uvae Kitchen & Wine Bar, began her journey in the hospitality industry at the age of 16 as a cake decorator ...MORE

michael armstrong

Michael Armstrong has risen from a nine-year-old experimenting with different blends of seasoning for ramen noodles, to helming the kitchen at one of the nati... MORE

Andrew Asken
Dusek's Board and Beer

Originally from the Chicagoland area, Andrew Asken relocated to North Carolina to attend Pfeiffer University on a baseball scholarship. After sustaining...MORE

Eric Babula
Joy District

Eric Babula is the Corporate Executive Chef for 8 Hospitality. Chef Babula is a Chicago-based chef originally from central Missouri. He moved...MORE

John Badal
North Branch Fried Chicken

North Branch Gourmet has expanded into food service and opened its very first restaurant here in Chicago. The husband and wife team opened ...MORE

Rick Bayless
Frontera Grill / Topolobampo / XOCO / Tortazo / Bar Sótano

Most people know Rick Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, besting the competition with his authentic Mexican cuisine.. MORE

Joey Beato
Community Tavern

Executive Chef/Co-owner Joey Beato’s love of cooking is rooted in his childhood, as he recalls making breakfast food frequently and dreaming.. MORE

Johnny besch
BLVD Steakhouse

Johnny Besch has traveled the country extensively to apprentice under and learn from some of the best chefs in the business. During his nine years in the Pacific Northwest...MORE

Norman Bolden
Norman's Bistro

Norman H. Bolden is a Chicago native who was raised and currently resides in Chicago’s 4th Ward. He is a veteran community activist...MORE

Alex Borrayo
Twisted Hippo

Chef Alex is a part of the foundation of Twisted Hippo. Starting with us from the beginning almost two years ago, his tireless efforts and hard work have really brought our menu together. Born and raised. ... MORE

Aaron Browning
Tortoise Supper Club

Chef Aaron Browning is Executive Chef for the Tortoise Supper Club. Chef Aaron is a Chicagoland native and began cooking at 16 in a local pizza joint. The kitchen has...MORE

Jimmy Bruton

Jimmy is an Englishman who has spent his entire career in the Wine & Spirits Industry. His journey began with William Grant’s in London ...MORE

Tony Castillo

Chef and owner of Longitud315 restaurant that was inspired by the trips made to South America. It was in his grandmother's kitchen that the memories that inspired... MORE

Laricia Chandler
Can't Believe It's Not Meat

Laricia Chandler Baker (Chef Fab) is an American entrepreneur, businesswoman, socialite, and chef. A self-taught fashion designer and self-taught chef, she was born and raised ... MORE

Omar Chavez
Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House-Naperville

As Chef de Cuisine at Travelle at The Langham, Chef Jeffrey Vucko oversees all culinary operations within the second floor River North restaurant.... MORE

Kelly Cheng
Sun Wah BBQ

As is often the case with the eldest child in a Chinese family, the burdens are placed early and often. Kelly Cheng has learned to manage...MORE

Carolyn Corcoran
Native Foods

Carolyn is a formally trained, Chicago-based chef. She has been with Native Foods for four years, and is the creative genius behind many of the restaurant chain’s plant-based... MORE

Adrian Corkill
3 Forks Prime Steakhouse

Adrian Corkill has joined the culinary and management team at III Forks in Lakeshore East as Executive Chef/Proprietor. Corkill worked his way up through different hospitality channels...MORE

Kevin Cuddihee
Porter Kitchen & Deck

Kevin Cuddihee is the Executive Chef at Porter Kitchen and Deck in the West Loop.  Kevin brings 23 years of restaurant experience to the kitchen at Porter...MORE

Christopher Curren
Fulton Market Kitchen

As the Executive Chef of Fulton Market Kitchen, Chris Curren oversees menu development, staff hiring and training, quality and consistency control and other day-to-day operations. With over a ...MORE

Aaron Cuschieri
The Dearborn

Chef Aaron Cuschieri has spent his career working in every aspect of the restaurant industry, from QSR to Michelin 3 star find dining. Most recently, Chef Aaron has stepped into ...MORE

thai dang
HaiSous / Cà Phê Đá

Chef Thai Dang along with Director of Operations and wife Danielle showcase the flavors and depth of Vietnam at their Chicago restaurant, HaiSous...MORE

www.haisous.com / www.caphedachi.com
diana dávila
Mi Tocaya Antojería

Diana got her start in the kitchen at an early age in her parent's taquerias, washing dishes and filling salsas in the fourth grade. It felt ...MORE

Joe Demonte
Macello Cucina di Puglia

Joe started with a small risotto restaurant, back when risotto did not have any luster. Bringing his Pugliese Roots and food ...MORE

Matthew Denk
The Vig / The WhaleE

Matthew Denk grew up in Southern Indiana then went on to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management at Purdue University ...MORE

Rohini Dey

A leading restaurateur, proponent of Indian cuisine with her unique Latin twist across Vermilion Chicago and NYC, an avid supporter of women – former World Bank economist and...MORE

Carolina Diaz
Terzo Piano

Growing up in a large Mexican family outside of Chicago, Carolina Diaz always had a special relationship with food. Whether cooking meals....MORE

Marco DiBenedetto
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse-Rosemont

Chef Marco DiBenedetto is a long-time esteemed member of the Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse team. A graduate of the Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago...MORE

Amanda Downing Salas
Smoke Daddy Wrigleyville

Chef Amanda Downing Salas was born and raised in Elgin, a Northwest suburb of Chicago and developed a passion for "family-style comfort food " at a young age. The oldest of six children, she spent her free time in the kitchen... MORE


            September 2020            

Presenting Sponsor

© 2020 Illinois Restaurant Association.
All rights reserved.

interactive design   |   what2design