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Grant Achatz

Owner / Chef

Chef Grant Achatz is one of the most awarded and recognized chefs in the world. Known for his innovative, emotional, and modernist style of cuisine, he has been named Best Chef in the United States by the James Beard Foundation, honored by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, and has given talks and lectures on gastronomy and design at conferences and universities around the world.

Grant began working in restaurants as soon as he could walk. His parents owned a diner in Michigan, and he spent his childhood years working alongside his family.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America at age 21, Grant spent a short time at Charlie Trotter’s before finding his mentor in chef Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. Grant worked for a total of 5 years at the French Laundry, eventually rising to Chef de Cuisine. During his time in California, he also spent a year working at La Jota vineyards.

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Andrew Brochu

Executive Chef

Andrew’s culinary career began at age 15, bussing tables and washing dishes at O’Charley’s in Atlanta. Some years later, while attending Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Andrew applied and was accepted to Alinea for a culinary school externship, which led to a job offer from Chef Achatz.

After three years exploring positions in both the front and back of house at Alinea, Andrew moved to Pops for Champagne, where he was hired as Sous Chef and quickly promoted to Executive Chef. After his time there, Andrew opened Kith & Kin, then later served as Executive Chef of Graham Elliot’s flagship restaurant. While there, Chef Achatz and Nick invited Andrew to join them as Executive Chef and partner in a new restaurant. While Roister was being conceptualized and built, Andrew served as Executive Chef of The Aviary.

For Andrew, Roister is the culmination of everything he’s ever loved about restaurants. He describes his food as simple, with a focus on flavor and integrity. He wants his guests to feel invited and free to be loud and boisterous.

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Mike DeStefano

Chef de Cuisine

Mike graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 2008 with a culinary degree and the University of Missouri in 2010 with a Bachelors in Hospitality Management. Upon graduating, he moved to Chicago and worked under Chef Brochu at both Kith & Kin and Graham Elliot.

In 2013, Mike joined The Alinea Group to build Roister with Chef Brochu. Mike worked at The Aviary until Roister opened in April 2016. Since then, he has served as Roister’s Chef de Cuisine.

Roister has already changed since its opening, and Mike is excited to see how it continues to grow and evolve. Mike’s favorite part of cooking at Roister is learning about new cultures and incorporating their unfamiliar ingredients and techniques into dishes that, at first glance, may seem familiar to the guest.

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Gary Obligacion

Director of Operations

Gary's hospitality career began at Alice Waters's landmark restaurant, Chez Panisse, while he was a freshman at UC Berkeley in 1984. Over the past several decades, he has worked at a variety of award-winning restaurants and hotels including Boulevard Restaurant, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, and Pebble Beach Resorts. Gary was enticed to the world of major food events and was the initial Operations Director of Pebble Beach Food & Wine. It was there that he met Chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. Gary was asked to join The Alinea Group as Director of Operations in 2012 and has served in that capacity since then.

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951 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
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