Our Executive Chef

 

  My career in the culinary world began after my graduation from the Illinois Institute of Art in 2004, where I was classically French trained in the culinary arts.  After a short stint at world renowned Spiaggia, I opened Zed 451, an upscale Brazilian Steakhouse on Clark Street, as one of the lead grill chefs.  At  26, I was thrust into my first Executive Chef role at the restaurant Fuel - a farm to table restaurant in Wilmette.    I learned everything I could about farming, and  using this knowledge, turned the restaurant into a Community Supported Agriculture dropping point.   Im my opinion, it is vital to support the local farming community.   Another large step forward in my career was taken as I helped open Nick's Bar and Grill in Wilmette as their Executive Chef.  Here, I further learned what it takes to run a successful business and used that knowledge to run my own business: a high-end personal chef service and catering company.  Using produce grown on my own community garden plot, I worked privately for families creating organic and health-forward food.  This was a wonderful experience, but the call to work in a restaurant came once again. I took a leap of faith and took an Executive Chef position in the Northwest Suburbs at Beelow's Steakhouse in Lake Zurich, where we had our own cattle ranch that our steaks were locally sourced from. While I learned a wealth of knowledge from running a large, successful restaurant in the suburbs, I know my place is in the city.  Opening and running Rhapsody with Judy and Dan Pellicano is where my career is meant to be.  It is here that I am transforming my beliefs and skillset into a culinary journey for our guests.   I am excited to share my food with the  Uptown Chicago community. 

Chef Derek Dwyer