Top Chicago Chefs announced for EXPO CHICAGO’s Chefs’ Café led by restaurateur Michael Kornick
Graham Elliot, Ryan Poli, Patricio Sandoval and Randy Zweiban Bring Chicago Culinary to the International Art Fair September 20 – 23, 2012
(Chicago, IL) Famed Chicago Chef and Restaurateur Michael Kornick teams with EXPO CHICAGO/2012, the international fair of modern/contemporary art and design to curate the inaugural Chefs’ Café during the fair (September 20 – 23, 2012). Located directly within the exposition, the Chefs Café will allow guests to taste a variety of signature dishes. Envisioned by an eclectic blend of chefs including Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot, g.e.b., and Grahamwich), Ryan Poli (Tavernita) with Patricio Sandoval (Mercadito) and Randy Zweiban (Province) all under the skilled leadership and vision of world-renowned restaurateur, Kornick (Ada St., DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar, mk and N9NE Steakhouse), the Chefs’ Café will provide visitors with a unique dining experience.
“I am honored to bring an array of Chicago’s best chefs to Navy Pier for EXPO CHICAGO,” said Michael Kornick. “Great art deserves great food, and I’m excited to take part in creating specialty menu items and cocktails that will celebrate this landmark cultural event.”
For each day of the fair, one chef will be highlighted at the Chefs’ Café providing guests from near and far with specialty dishes and signature cocktails created exclusively for EXPO CHICAGO. All four chefs will also come together to kick off the inaugural fair at Vernissage, the opening night celebration of the exposition in conjunction with the MCA, where they will feature a sampling of their menu items along with other noted Chicago Chefs (will be announced at a later date).
“Having several of Chicago’s top chefs showcase their culinary skills at EXPO CHICAGO, reinforces what the world already knows; Chicago is a great food and art city,” said Tony Karman, President & Director of EXPO CHICAGO. “To have Michael Kornick at the helm, partnering with Graham Elliot, Ryan Poli, Patricio Sandoval and Randy Zweiban, I am confident that EXPO patrons will experience the perfect blend of great artwork and a true taste of Chicago”.
About the Chefs:
Chef Michael Kornick, founder and owner of MK, is a nationally recognized leader in the culinary arts. Kornick works with the freshest seasonal ingredients and stays true to classical cooking techniques. It is his belief that ingredients should speak for themselves. Although known primarily for his accomplishments as a chef, Michael Kornick has developed into one of the country’s leading restaurateurs. He is highly sought after as an authority on restaurant management and customer service and is known as a generous mentor to those who have worked under him past and present. Kornick’s other restaurants include DMK Burger, Fish Bar and N9NE Steakhouse.
Chef Graham Elliot is one of Chicago’s creative, culinary wizards with an innate ability to successfully juxtapose four-star cuisine with humor, wit and out-of-the-box artistry. At age 27, he became the youngest Four Star Chef to be named in any major U.S. city and was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2004. In recent years, he has accrued several prestigious accolades, including multiple James Beard Foundation nominations as well as being named one of Crain’s Chicago Business list of “40 Under Forty.” In May of 2008 at the age of 31, Graham opened Graham Elliot, focusing on his core belief that cooking is an artistic, creative outlet. Since opening its doors the restaurant has garnered one Michelin star in both 2011 and 2012. In December 2010, Graham opened the fast-casual sandwich concept simply titled “Grahamwich” in Chicago’s River North area. Grahamwich has received numerous accolades and press, with Food & Wine naming their grilled cheese one of the best in the country and Travel & Leisure including it as a top dining destination in the US. In the spring of 2012 Elliot opened his third restaurant, g.e.b., located in Chicago’s West Loop. g.e.b. offers a seasonally focused menu using old world techniques with three ingredients or less per dish. In addition to appearing on Iron Chef and two seasons of the popular show “Top Chef Masters,” Graham co-stars alongside Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich in the FOX series MasterChef, which is now in its third season. Graham, a singer and guitarist in his own right, is also the Culinary Director of Lollapalooza where he helps setup ChowTown with the best chefs and restaurants Chicago has to offer.
Chef Ryan Poli trained in classic French and American cuisine and refined his techniques by working at restaurants like Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and Jean Banchet’s Le Francais, Sergi Arola’s La Broche, El Celler de Can Roca and Martin Berasategui in Madrid Spain. The Chicago native has been at the forefront of the Chicago culinary scene since opening Butter in 2005, which was voted one of the country’s “Best New Restaurants” by Esquire Magazine. His newest venture, Tavernita, is a combination of Poli’s culinary experience and travel and will feature small plates with Spanish and Latin influence. Poli has been honored with; Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant”, a Michelin Guide Big Gourmand, “Best New Restaurant” by both Travel and Leisure and Chicago Magazine, “Best Dish of 2009″ from Food and Wine Magazine, Rising Star Chef “Community Chef Award” from StarChefs Magazine and has been nominated by Food and Wine Magazine for the “Peoples Choice Award for Best New Chef”. When he’s not in the kitchen, Chef Poli is active in The Pilot Light Project; along with other prominent Chicago chefs to educate youth on healthy eating.
Chef Patricio Sandoval began his culinary experience in his home town of Acapulco, Mexico at his father’s world class restaurant, Madieras. He later followed his brother Richard to New York where he worked from the bottom up at Maya which his brother owned. After travelling back and forth from California to New York in order to further his studies in the culinary field and gain experience in the kitchen working as Sous Chef at Hawthorne Lane and later with Peter Hoffman at the legendary Savoy, he reunited with his brother to work as the Consulting Chef at Pampano. Sandoval’s next venture was to open his own restaurant which he would draw inspiration from shopping the small market stalls of his home town. This led to the creation of Mercadito, which by 2009, has opened in Chicago, Miami and New York and has gone on to win several accolades in each city.
Chef Randy Zweiban, now at the helm of Province, first brought Nuevo Latino cooking to Chicago with Nacional 27 when he worked with Letttuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. (LEYE) to unveil the city’s first Nuevo Latino concept. After graduating from Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School (now The Institute of Culinary Education), he opened a boutique catering business in Manhattan, creating food for exclusive gallery openings, private parties and other prominent events. He later headed south to Miami, where he was able to open a catering company with a similar clientele in a warmer climate. He then went to work with celebrated chef Norman Van Aken, where he immersed himself in the vibrant culture and cooking of Miami’s Latino community, while continuing to work with Van Aken’s New World Cuisine. He also took a one-year hiatus from Miami to work as Executive Chef at The Gate, a popular Los Angeles supper club. Zweiban has since gone on to open Province where he has crafted a dynamic menu that is grounded in American cuisine and influenced by Central and South American and Spanish dishes. Zweiban has received numerous accolades, including having both Nacional 27 and Province named as “One of the Best New Restaurants” by Chicago magazine. Province was also given a three out of four star review by the Chicago Tribune. Zweiban has been featured in Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Newsweek, Food Arts, USA Today, Metropolitan Home and Esquire, among other publications.