2018 Chefs
brian ahern

As a studio art major at the College of Charleston, Brian Ahern got his first real taste of the restaurant industry as a way to earn extra income. Many hours and a few kitchens later, Brian...MORE

Louie Alexakis
Avli Restaurant

Louie Alexakis is the current Chef/Owner of Avli Estiatorio, located in Winnetka, IL. Louie grew up in the food business, whose family started in the early 1900's in Chicago... MORE

George Alpogianis
TAG Restaurants

Founded in 1995, T.A.G. Restaurants currently owns and operates eight dining establishments in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Surrounded by food, the Alpogianis’ destiny to delve into the business of restaurants was inevitable... MORE

Diego Amat
Mercat a la Planxa

Hailing from the heart of Catalonia, Barcelona native Diego Lopez Amat is thrilled to bring his culinary talents to Chicago. His grandparents were chefs themselves... MORE

Juan Carlos Ascencio

Chef Isidro Arroyo started his culinary career with Hyatt Regency Chicago in 1996 where he worked as an intern then hired fulltime as a line cook...MORE

Ashlee Aubin

Chef Ashlee Aubin, a Michigan native, has been cooking in Chicago for the last eight years. His first position in Chicago was at the... MORE

Javier Avalos
The Berghoff Restaurant

Chef Javier has been a part of the Berghoff family for 14 years. Avalos runs the main Restaurant kitchen, while assisting Berghoff’s Executive Chef Reichel with the other three...MORE

Matt Ayala
Cochon Volant Brasserie

Matt Ayala is the Corporate Executive Chef of Well Done Hospitality Group, which includes Cochon Volant Brasserie, Taureaux Tavern, Mixed Greens Restaurants, and DoughBros Pizzeria...MORE

Tony Balestreri
Marz Community Brewing

Tony Balestreri is the Head Chef at Marz Community Brewing — a newly opened Taproom & kitchen on Chicago’s southside. He is passionate about the art of smoking and creating new and exciting dishes...MORE

Timon Balloo
SUGARCANE raw bar grill

As the culinary heart of SUGARCANE raw bar grill, Chef Partner Timon Balloo draws from his broad range of influences and experiences to bring bold, global flavors to every dish on the menu...MORE

Jimmy Bannos Sr.
Heaven on Seven

Heaven on Seven at 111 N. Wabash, 7th floor, Chicago, is the original location for the authentic Cajun cuisine of critically acclaimed chef/owner Jimmy Bannos. With the ever-famous gumbo, Heaven on Seven provides... MORE

Jimmy Bannos Jr.
Piggie Smalls Gyro Shop

Jimmy Bannos Jr., a fourth-generation restaurateur, was born and raised in Chicago’s Heaven on Seven. Put to work for his father at age five, Jimmy learned the trade firsthand while spending days... MORE

Amanda Barnes

Executive Chef Amanda Barnes grew up on a Texas cattle ranch and hustled her first culinary job at the age of 13... MORE

Sieger Bayer
The Heritage

Sieger Bayer, nearby Berwyn resident, teamed up with friends and Oak Parkers Mischa and Jacob DeHart to open The Heritage in Forest Park....MORE

Rick Bayless
Frontera Grill / Topolobampo / XOCO / Leña Brava / Cruz Blanca Cervecería

Most people know Rick Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated Public Television... MORE

Johnny besch

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, Johnny...MORE

Laurel Boger
Eli's Cheesecake Co.

Chef Boger is the Executive Pastry Chef and creative Research Chef for The Eli’s Cheesecake Company. Aside from dazzling Eli’s... MORE

Mariela Bolaños
Food Fanatics (US Foods)

Chef Mariela Bolaños discovered a deep passion for cooking at a young age throughout her years of travel to Mexico with her family...MORE

Lorenzo Boni
Barilla Executive Chef, North America

Chef Lorenzo Boni grew up with a passion for Italian food in Bologna, Italy. While studying culinary arts, Lorenzo traveled extensively throughout Italy and the USA, immersing himself in the regional cuisines... MORE

Rob Boyd
Punch House

A native of Texas, Rob Boyd grew up in the Lone Star State before moving to San Francisco to study media theory and criticism at San Francisco State University... MORE

Sam Burman
MCA Catering (Museum of Contemporary Art)

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Burman has been fascinated by the culinary world since a young age, having spent much of his childhood cooking alongside his mother...MORE

Mike Cain
Famous Dave's

In 2003, Mike Cain joined the Blue Ribbon Restaurants family. He trained in Chicago, IL, and went on to open five Famous Dave’s in the Metro Detroit area, and one Famous Dave’s in North Olmsted, OH...MORE

Marcos Campos
Bonhomme Hospitality Group

Marcos Campos, born and raised in Valencia, Spain, began his culinary career at his father's butcher shop at the young age of 15...MORE

Matthew Cappellini
El Tapeo

Chicago native, Chef Matthew Cappellini serves as the Executive Chef at Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center. Chef Cappellini inspires guests to taste the uncommon...MORE

Tom Carlin
Dove's Luncheonette

Tom Carlin jump started his culinary career in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri by studying culinary arts at Johnson County Community College and coaching the school’s award-winning culinary competition team... MORE

Sergio Cassanelli
Sapori Antichi Bar Italiano

Sergio Cassanelli is the executive chef of Sapori Antichi Bar Italiano. He was born and raised in Bari, South Italy. He was always around his mother in the kitchen growing up... MORE

Tony Castillo

Tony Castillo is the Executive Chef and Co-owner of Longitud315 in Highwood, IL. Chef Tony brings to Highwood and to all food lovers... MORE

Jintana Charernsook
Jin Thai Cuisine

Jintana Charernsook was born in 1955 in Yala, Thailand - a Southern province bordering Malaysia. The only daughter out of 7 children, Jin woke up early everyday to help her mother prepare meals...MORE

Saul Chavez
La Josie

Chef Saul “Diablo” Chavez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. His love for cooking started in 1997 when he got his first job in a kitchen...MORE

sandy chen
Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge

Growing up in the Provence Wen Zhou, Zhe Jiang of Southern China, in a small village just south of Shanghai, Sandy Chen began her culinary journey as a child by helping prepare...MORE

Matsuo Chiba
Kakunoshin Japan

Born in Ichinoseki City of Iwate Prefecture of Japan in 1971, Chiba established his very first BBQ restaurant called Yakinikuya Godai Kakunoshin in 1999 when he was 27 years...MORE

Yongho Cho

Chef Yongho Cho is the Executive Sushi Chef for Kamehachi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar. Chef Cho was born in Seoul, Korea...MORE

Michael Ciapciak
Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

Michael Ciapciak is the owner of Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits (with two Chicago locations) & Co-Owner of the newly opened Pretty Cool Ice Cream in Logan Square...MORE

Christine Cikowski
Honey Butter Fried Chicken

At Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, Christine Cikowski serves a menu mindful of just how comforting food can be, especially when made with high-quality ingredients...MORE

Pete Coenen
Cherry Circle Room

Peter Coenen an executive chef with Land and Sea Dept, overseeing their various concepts within the Chicago Athletic Association, which...MORE

Rosy Colin
III Forks Steakhouse

III Forks Chef Rocelia Colin relocated to Chicago in 2000 from Michoacán, Mexico. Her inspiration for cooking stemmed from her grandparents, where she was surrounded by fresh produce and ingredients...MORE

Federico Comacchio
Coco Pazzo

Federico is passionate about the clean, clear flavors of Tuscany. He believes that every dish should simply express the fresh ingredients from...MORE

steve Coppolillo
Carmine's Chicago

Growing up in large Italian family meals were always a very important event; Some of his earliest cooking memories are of watching his mother and grandmother...MORE

Craig Couper
Michael Jordan's Steak House

A Chicago-area native, Chef Craig Couper’s love for the culinary world began at a young age and at just 11-years-old, he was already religiously reading...MORE

Fernanda Covarrubias
La Postrería (Guadalajara, MX)

Fernanda Covarrubias was Born in 1988 in Guadalajara (Jalisco, Mexico). She got a degree in Tourism Administration Business at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, while she worked at several restaurants in the city...MORE

Kevin Cowens

Born in New Orleans and raised in Dallas Texas, went to college with a major in creative writing and a minor in art education. Learned how to cook from his mother...MORE

Carlos Cruz
The Promontory

Born and raised in the outskirts of Houston in Spring, Texas, Carlos Cruz first became interested in the culinary arts by taking part in a hands-on high school externship, which placed him right in the heart...MORE

rodolfo cuadros

As a young boy, Chef Rodolfo Cuadros would slip on an apron and pull up a stool to help his mother and aunts in the kitchen; Little did anyone know that time spent...MORE

Kevin Cuddihee

As a young boy, Chef Rodolfo Cuadros would slip on an apron and pull up a stool to help his mother and aunts in the kitchen; Little did anyone know that time spent...MORE

Eric Damidot

Executive Chef Eric Damidot’s passion for cooking began when he enrolled in the Golf Hotel Culinary School in France at age 16, followed by apprenticeships with Gilbert Mallet...MORE

diana dávila
Mi Tocaya Antojería

Chef Diana Davila Boldin is the Executive Chef and Owner of Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. A native of the Chicago suburbs...MORE

Ian Davis
Band of Bohemia

New York native Ian Davis began his restaurant career at the ripe age of 18 years old when a boxing match misfortune required him to take a job as a dishwasher...MORE

Paul Deepipat
Tiparos Thai Cuisine

I was born and raised in Thailand and moved to Chicago in 1987 to study at Harold Washington College. My first job was as a server at Bangkok Restaurant...MORE

Phannipa Deepipat
Dao Thai Restaurant

I moved to Chicago in 1987 to study and work. I started working at my sister restaurant, Star of Siam, where I met my husband....MORE

Jess DeGuzman

Born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Jess DeGuzman developed a love for cooking at a very young age, experimenting in the kitchen with the traditional dishes and flavors...MORE

Joe Dela Pena
Warm Belly Bakery

Voted as one of the Best Cookie Bakeries in the Country by the Food Network (and only one in the Midwest), Warm Belly Bakery is a cookie-centric café nestled in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood...MORE

chris de la cueva
Rhyme or Reason

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...MORE

Ali Dewjee
Bombay Wraps

When Falguni Dewjee and Ali Dewjee, a husband / wife team, opened Bombay Wraps in 2010, they had one simple mission – to share...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

justin diglia
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Growing up in a small Midwestern town of only 1,800, Justin Diglia’s interest in hospitality didn’t stem from dining at splashy restaurants or eating the food of award-winning....MORE

katie dong
Strings Ramen Shop

Chef/executive manager of Strings Ramen, Katie Dong cooks and creates exceptionally satisfying cultural ramen and dishes. Growing up in Chicago, Katie...MORE

nick dostal
Terrace 16

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...MORE

Eddie Duly
Star of Siam

Chef Eddie Duly earned a master degree in business management. Eddie opened the first Thai restaurant in Chicago in 1980 and since 1984 he has opened Star of Siam...MORE


Millennium Park   |   Sept 27 - 29, 2019