Chefs

Join Us
as several of theMART’s LuxeHome showrooms show off their talents
through chef driven cooking demonstrations from inside their showrooms.

Features Include:

dacor

Dacor Kitchen Theater

Dacor Kitchen Theater Hosts a Battle of the Chefs featuring Chef Jose Sosa (Gibson’s Italia) and Chef Paul Guerrero (Dacor) emceed by Mario Rizzotti, a critically acclaimed television personality and Italian culinary expert, most recognizable for serving as an annual Judge on Iron Chef America and countless other competitions. Be inspired as these chefs and friends engage in a good-spirited competition while showcasing their talents on the Dacor Appliances. Wine pairings with Peltier Wines to also be presented!

Featured Chefs:

Jose SosaChef Jose Sosa of Gibson’s Italia Restaurant
gibsonsitalia.com

Chef Jose Sosa brings passion and years of expertise to the kitchen. His fascination with nature is driven from a small town and a family farm where he discovered connections between kinship and cooking. After moving to Chicago, he rose through the ranks in the cities most exceptional restaurants, most notably, Ambria and Boka. Since 2008, Sosa has been with Gibsons Restaurant Group where he started his tenure as a sous chef at Luxbar. After two years, he became the Executive Chef of Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House and now, he has taken the Executive Chef position at Gibsons Restaurant Group’s newest restaurant, Gibsons Italia.

Paul GuerreroChef Paul Guerrero of Dacor Kitchen Theater
dacor.com

Paul’s culinary education began at home and he draws his inspiration for food from his family. He realized in high school that the path he wanted to take was one day becoming a chef and running his own restaurants. At the age of 17, he began working for Wolfgang Puck. He worked there for 3 years before moving on to work for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Chicago. He would open 3 restaurants with them from the ground up and learned everything he needed to take the leap and open his own culinary enterprise. Since then he has opened and sold a total of 3 restaurants. He recently sold his recreational cooking school, which was the largest in Illinois for 8 years, where he taught not only everyday people but hosted corporate culinary battles.  He now has strategic partnerships with brands such as Dacor Luxury Appliances, Topo Chico, Illinois Pork Association, and Coyote Grills. He is an advocate for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Paul has 6 children and is married to his beautiful wife Lizbeth.

Hosted by:

Mario RizzottiMario Rizzotti, critically acclaimed television personality and Italian culinary expert, most recognizable for serving as an annual Judge on Iron Chef America and countless other competitions emcees the competition. Read More

A Few Words From:

Carlos GaytánChef Carlos Gaytán of Tzuco Restaurant
tzuco.com

Carlos Gaytán was born in Huitzuco, a small town in Guerrero, Mexico. At the age of 20, he headed to Chicago. His career began at the Sheraton North Shore Hotel as a dishwasher. Through hard work and training, he scaled up, and worked in various restaurants until he opened Mexique. There, he went on to become the first Mexican Chef to receive a Michelin star in 2013 and 2014.Today, Chef Carlos Gaytán wants to present the best of Mexico through his own vision, as infused with the French haute cuisine techniques he acquired during his practice. Tzuco tells the story of Carlos Gaytán’s life throughout a myriad of culinary creations in a unique and poetic space.


Middleby Residential

Middleby Residential/ Viking Range/ La Cornue

Are you ready to elevate your fried rice with quinoa? Join Chef Bill Kim and Chef Jaime Laurita in the beautiful Middleby Residential Showroom for a delicious dish served with a side of encouraging conversation. Inspired by his wife Yvonne’s Puerto Rican heritage, Chef Bill Kim will prepare Korean Fried Rice. A graduate of Kendall College, Chef Kim has worked with some of the most prestigious chefs and in the finest kitchens around the country, including Banchet, Charlie Trotter’s and Bouley Bakery. Chef Kim’s own restaurants, including urbanbelly, Belly Shack and BellyQ have featured hallmarks of a distinct flavor and dining style that have made him a premier chef in Chicago and around the United States. In 2018, Chef Kim’s first cookbook was released “Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces” (Ten Speed Press) and was nominated for a James Beard Cookbook Award. In 2019, Chef Kim opened The Table at Crate and a restaurant inside Time Out Market Chicago. Chef Jaime Laurita is executive chef, brand ambassador and designer of Middleby Residential’s showrooms in Chicago, New York, Irvine and Dallas. He co-authored a cookbook with Sarah McLachlan and is a graduate of Culinary Institute of America. Chef Laurita has traveled the world with famous musicians as a chef and designer. Food, mood and music drive his passion. Please schedule a Virtual Showroom Appointment or in-person appointment with Chef Jaime and his team.

Featured Chefs:

Bill KimChef Bill Kim, James Beard Award Finalist, Author and Principal of Chicago’s Belly Q Restaurants
urbanbellychicago.com

Chef Bill Kim’s earliest and most formative food memory is of standing at his mom’s side in their kitchen in Seoul, Korea, grinding sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle. At age 7, he and his family moved to the United States and settled on Chicago’s Northwest Side. His childhood was one of typical kid stuff (baseball, Italian beef sandwiches) and Korean tradition (homemade kimchi, dried fish on the clothesline). After earning a hospitality management degree from Triton College and working two humbling jobs-at a hotel restaurant and on the receiving dock of the Carson Pirie Scott department store-Kim was motivated to pursue a formal culinary education. At Kendall College in Chicago, Kim immersed himself in classical French cuisine and read “Great Chefs of Chicago” from cover to cover, memorizing details about the renowned chefs profiled in the book. He would end up working for three of them: Pierre Pollin, Jean Banchet and Charlie Trotter. While at Le Titi de Paris with Pollin in Arlington Heights, Kim recalls a sous chef asking him how to cook with lemongrass. The ingredient was foreign to Kim too, but the exchange prompted him to learn everything he could about Asian cuisine, planting the seed for his future restaurants. As a garde manger cook at Ciboulette in Atlanta under Banchet, he learned the art of charcuterie and curing. In the early 1990s, Kim moved back to Chicago to join Charlie Trotter’s, where he was promoted to sous chef after one year. The next decade brought Kim to Philadelphia to be executive sous chef at Susanna Foo, to New York City as sous chef at Bouley Bakery, and to a farm-to-table restaurant outside of Philadelphia called Inn on Blueberry Hill, before he returned to Chicago-and to Trotter’s-as chef de cuisine. Kim next joined Le Lan, where he drew raves for his progressive French-Asian cuisine and decided he was ready to leave fine dining. In 2008, Kim opened urbanbelly, a BYO, communal-seating restaurant serving soul-satisfying noodles, dumplings and rice dishes out of a small strip mall in the Avondale neighborhood-jumpstarting the wave of fine-dining chefs branching into casual dining. Belly Shack, which he opened in 2009 in Logan Square, was a mashup of Korean and Puerto Rican food, inspired by his wife Yvonne’s Puerto Rican heritage. In 2012, Kim brought his border-blurring take on barbecue to the thriving Randolph Street corridor with bellyQ. He relocated the original urbanbelly to the space and in 2016 opened a second urbanbelly in Wicker Park. Ten years later, 2018 was another watershed year that marked Kim’s expansion into the retail and lifestyle realm. He released his first cookbook, “Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces” (Ten Speed Press), in April. In the fall, he and Cornerstone Restaurant Group announced a partnership with Crate and Barrel to open a full-service restaurant inside the retailer’s Oakbrook Center store, The Table at Crate, which opened in July 2019. In November 2019, Kim launched a restaurant inside the massive food hall, Time Out Market Chicago. Outside of his restaurants, Kim devotes time to three local charities he’s long been involved with: the Greater Chicago Food Depository; Common Threads, which brings cooking and nutrition education into schools; and Inspiration Kitchens, which helps prepare homeless and low-income residents for foodservice careers. In his downtime, Kim loves nothing more than traveling with his wife to wherever the fish are biting.

Jaime LauritaChef Jaime Laurita of the Middleby Residential Showroom
Middleby Residential Showroom

Chef Jaime Laurita is Creative Director of Middleby Residential, a leader in the premium residential kitchen appliance market. A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, he is a talented chef, designer, author and entrepreneur. His clients have included Madonna, Sting and Sarah McLachlan, with whom he co-wrote her cookbook, Plenty. He designed Middleby Residental’s new showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It features seven distinct vignettes, each curated for a different type of customer – from the rising Millennial to the established home chef. Laurita spends much of his time at the Central Vignette, where he will cook up everything from salads to sweets for the showroom’s visitors. From that location, he is a frequent guest on Kitchen Chat. Whether he is designing backstage havens for Madonna, whipping up delicacies in his kitchen, or being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Jaime Laurita exudes zest for life, relentless creativity, and a desire to make people feel at home. He is an advocate for Viking appliances, praises his hometown of Chicago at every opportunity, and ardently believes the kitchen is the heart of the home.


Miele Experience Center

Miele Experience Center

Chef William Balcazar, Owner/ Principal at The Balcazar Group, will be creating an upscale full meal which reflects his Hispanic Heritage, and his amazing culinary background. He will start with a spicy pumpkin and corn soup for the 1st course, and move on to the perfect execution of an 8 pound Prime Rib in the Miele convection wall oven using the cordless roast probe to confirm the correct temperature. We will be serving a glorious Chorizo/Italian sausage stuffing as well as the Prime rib with a lovely Blue Cheese/Horseradish sauce. All of this will be served with the right selection of wine to complete the meal.

Featured Chef:

William BalcazarChef William Balcazar, Owner/Principal of The Balcazar Group
balcazargroup.com

William Balcazar, Owner/Principal at The Balcazar Group and Fox and Spoon is an acclaimed hospitality professional who has gained experience at opening, running, and consulting on numerous high-profile establishments, Establishments include: Macy*s Food division, Mayfair Hotel and Spa, Room Service Restaurant and Lounge, and Tongue and Cheek to name a few. Balcazar’s method is inspired by his love for food and beverage and his organizational skill which come from his military background. His creative approach is reflected in each venue which he finds himself opening or conceptualizing, making him an ideal addition to the leading cutting-edge Venues. Balcazar Owns and operates a commercial catering company, Event Production, and Hospitality consulting firm.


Special Thanks Also to

Monogram Design Center Marshall's Landing