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8 Chef & Staff Shuffles To Know At Chicago Restaurants

Pastry chefs, executive chefs and sommeliers are on the moves

Bill Walker and David Chapman
Bill Walker and David Chapman
Mary Rafferty
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

It's a busy time for restaurant staffs in Chicago. Here are nine new appointments at local restaurants.

RIVER NORTH— Allium at the Four Seasons Chicago named Sean Murray as executive chef. He worked as the executive sous chef at the Four Seasons in Vancouver where he'd been since 2002. He has more than 15 years of experience in kitchens.

WEST TOWN— Over at veggie-friendly Green Zebra, they have a pair of announcements. David Chapman's the new chef de cuisine, while Bill Walker is the new sous chef. Chapman's experience includes stints at Ellipsis in Mumbai, James Republic in Long Beach, Calif. and locally at Perennial Virant. Walker previously worked at Next, Wood, Chop Shop & 1st Ward and Old Town Social.

GOLD COAST— Over at Spiaggia, they've named Joey Schwab as their new pastry chef. He began earlier this month and will develop menu items for Spiaggia and Cafe Spiaggia. Items include a strawberries and cream layer cake (olive oil cake, mascarpone panna cotta, strawberry gelee and rhubarb basil sorbet) at Spiaggia and cartellate (fresh fruit, musto cotto, ricotta mousse and candied pistachios) at Cafe Spiaggia. He had worked at mfk. restaurant, Untitled Supper Club and Girl and the Goat.

LAKEVIEW— New England Seafood Co. has a new executive chef, Ernesto Palaia. The New York native had opened a restaurant in Manila, called Goodfellas, and has had stints in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

STREETERVILLE— NoMi Kitchen in the Park Hyatt Chicago has a new sommelier. Jillian Riley comes over from RPM Steak where she was the manager and sommelier at the Lettuce Entertain Your Enterprises restaurant.

SOUTH LOOP— Gioco has a new executive chef and a new menu at the Italian restaurant. It's a return for Jim Kilberg who worked at Gioco for three years as sous chef before moving to Italy. His menu includes braised duck with house-made pappardelle, a wood-fire grilled veal chop and more.

MILLENNIUM PARK— Filini Restaurant and Bar, inside the Raddison Blu Aqua Hotel, they've named Caroline Kolaja as new pastry chef. She moved to Chicago in 2014 from California.

Filini Restaurant and Bar

221 N Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 477-0234 Visit Website


1312 S Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 312 939 3870

New England Seafood Company

3341 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 871-3474 Visit Website


120 East Delaware Place, , IL 60611 (312) 799-4900 Visit Website

NoMI Kitchen

, , IL 60611 (312) 239-4030 Visit Website

Green Zebra

1460 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 312 243 7100


980 North Michigan Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 280-2750 Visit Website

Cafe Spiaggia

980 North Michigan Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 280-2750 Visit Website