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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 sous chef. During his time in California, he also spent a year working at La Jota vineyards. A short stage at elBulli in Roses, Spain was exceptionally influential and led Grant to seek out his first executive chef position at Trio in Evanston, IL. It was there that his creativity and desire to innovate flourished. In 2002 and 2003, respectively, Grant was recognized by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the nation’s Best New Chefs and named the Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation.

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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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