Meet your Tastemasters:

Each of our chefs  is one half of a unique collaboration featuring at Tastemaker Chicago.
We're excited to blend their distinct culinary styles together to create never before seen menus for you at Revel Fulton Market.
Stay tuned as we announce more awesome chefs and who they'll be mashing things up with this August. 

 Growing up in Lowell, Mass., Abe Conlon's culinary beginning was heavily impacted by his Portuguese heritage and a strong Southeast Asian presence in his community. Alongside partner Adrienne Lo, Abe opened  ‪Fat Rice  in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in 2012 as a return to his roots. The restaurant harmonizes the rich influence of his upbringing with his own unique culinary exploration. Fat Rice’s menu focuses on cuisines of the Portuguese speaking world with an emphasis on Macau presenting unique takes on heritage recipes that combine techniques and ingredients from Portugal, Brazil, Africa, Malaysia, India and China.   In addition to Abe being honored as the 2018 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes and named a “Rising Star” by StarChefs in 2015, Fat Rice has been recognized by Bon Appetit (Top 10 Best Restaurants in America, 2013), Jean Banchet (2013 Best New Restaurant winner/2015 Restaurant of the Year), a recipient of The Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand (2014 – 2018) and many others. In July 2016, Abe and Adrienne also opened The Bakery at Fat Rice, a Chinese Bakery and evening petisco bar, as well as The Ladies’ Room, a 250-square-foot craft cocktail lounge inspired by the fantan (Chinese gambling halls) and red light districts that proliferated around Macau in the mid 19th and 20th centuries. His most recent work includes releasing his first book,  The Adventures of Fat Rice,  a compilation of recipes that explores the vibrant food culture of Macau.

Growing up in Lowell, Mass., Abe Conlon's culinary beginning was heavily impacted by his Portuguese heritage and a strong Southeast Asian presence in his community. Alongside partner Adrienne Lo, Abe opened ‪Fat Rice in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in 2012 as a return to his roots. The restaurant harmonizes the rich influence of his upbringing with his own unique culinary exploration. Fat Rice’s menu focuses on cuisines of the Portuguese speaking world with an emphasis on Macau presenting unique takes on heritage recipes that combine techniques and ingredients from Portugal, Brazil, Africa, Malaysia, India and China. 

In addition to Abe being honored as the 2018 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes and named a “Rising Star” by StarChefs in 2015, Fat Rice has been recognized by Bon Appetit (Top 10 Best Restaurants in America, 2013), Jean Banchet (2013 Best New Restaurant winner/2015 Restaurant of the Year), a recipient of The Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand (2014 – 2018) and many others. In July 2016, Abe and Adrienne also opened The Bakery at Fat Rice, a Chinese Bakery and evening petisco bar, as well as The Ladies’ Room, a 250-square-foot craft cocktail lounge inspired by the fantan (Chinese gambling halls) and red light districts that proliferated around Macau in the mid 19th and 20th centuries. His most recent work includes releasing his first book, The Adventures of Fat Rice, a compilation of recipes that explores the vibrant food culture of Macau.

Abe Conlon

Fat Rice

IMG_1690_1200px.jpg

Jason Hammel

Lula Cafe

 Hunter by name and trade, Michael is an outdoorsman, forager and hunter. Born and raised on a Caledon horse farm, Hunter’s dream was to own a restaurant that would combine his love for food with a passion and respect for local ingredients. Formerly of Sassafraz, Luma, Scarpetta, and Reds Wine Tavern, he has used his experience in the outdoors to explore his culinary creativity, becoming chef and co-owner of Antler Kitchen and Bar.  Antler is strongly rooted in regional food culture - pure, fresh and seasonal. It embodies local flavour and spirit, offering contemporary dishes with an emphasis on wild food and farm-fresh ingredients that are always sourced locally

Hunter by name and trade, Michael is an outdoorsman, forager and hunter. Born and raised on a Caledon horse farm, Hunter’s dream was to own a restaurant that would combine his love for food with a passion and respect for local ingredients. Formerly of Sassafraz, Luma, Scarpetta, and Reds Wine Tavern, he has used his experience in the outdoors to explore his culinary creativity, becoming chef and co-owner of Antler Kitchen and Bar.

Antler is strongly rooted in regional food culture - pure, fresh and seasonal. It embodies local flavour and spirit, offering contemporary dishes with an emphasis on wild food and farm-fresh ingredients that are always sourced locally

Michael Hunter

Antler Kitchen & Bar

 
 A Chicago-native, Ryan Pfeiffer balances simplicity of execution with complexity of flavor in a way that is perfectly suited to Blackbird. Pfeiffer began culinary school by happenstance; it wasn’t until instructor Timothy Bucci crossed Pfeiffer’s path that he inadvertently found his calling. Bucci, a member of the United States Culinary Olympic team, took Pfeiffer under his wing and encouraged him to join the school’s culinary competition team. It was during this time Pfeiffer steadfastly practiced his knife skills and developed a sense of teamwork, eventually becoming Bucci’s apprentice.   After three years by Bucci’s side, Pfeiffer took a break from tweezers and meticulous plating and headed to California to further pursue a relationship with ingredients. There he spent time exploring the Santa Barbara fine dining scene before moving to the small farming and wine-producing community of Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley. There, he worked at a trattoria under Chef Leonardo Curti, making fresh pastas early in the morning and manning a wood fire oven at night. Next, Pfeiffer worked at Brothers restaurant under chefs Matt and Jeff Nichols. The brothers’ laidback Californian mindset, coupled with the precision of French culinary training, is a mentality Pfeiffer carries into the kitchen at Blackbird today.  Missing the Midwest, Pfeiffer moved back to Chicago to stage in various Michelin-starred restaurants, before finding a home in Blackbird. Under then Chef de Cuisine David Posey, Pfeiffer worked his way up from lunch cook to sous chef before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. At Blackbird’s helm, Pfeiffer strives to create harmony between elaborately complex technique and organic free-flowing composition.  

A Chicago-native, Ryan Pfeiffer balances simplicity of execution with complexity of flavor in a way that is perfectly suited to Blackbird. Pfeiffer began culinary school by happenstance; it wasn’t until instructor Timothy Bucci crossed Pfeiffer’s path that he inadvertently found his calling. Bucci, a member of the United States Culinary Olympic team, took Pfeiffer under his wing and encouraged him to join the school’s culinary competition team. It was during this time Pfeiffer steadfastly practiced his knife skills and developed a sense of teamwork, eventually becoming Bucci’s apprentice. 

After three years by Bucci’s side, Pfeiffer took a break from tweezers and meticulous plating and headed to California to further pursue a relationship with ingredients. There he spent time exploring the Santa Barbara fine dining scene before moving to the small farming and wine-producing community of Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley. There, he worked at a trattoria under Chef Leonardo Curti, making fresh pastas early in the morning and manning a wood fire oven at night. Next, Pfeiffer worked at Brothers restaurant under chefs Matt and Jeff Nichols. The brothers’ laidback Californian mindset, coupled with the precision of French culinary training, is a mentality Pfeiffer carries into the kitchen at Blackbird today.

Missing the Midwest, Pfeiffer moved back to Chicago to stage in various Michelin-starred restaurants, before finding a home in Blackbird. Under then Chef de Cuisine David Posey, Pfeiffer worked his way up from lunch cook to sous chef before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. At Blackbird’s helm, Pfeiffer strives to create harmony between elaborately complex technique and organic free-flowing composition.  

Ryan Pfeiffer

Black Bird

JonathanZaragoza2018 Headshot_63A4489.jpg

Jonathan Zaragoza

Birrieria Zaragoza

 

Graham Elliot Web.jpg

Graham Elliot

Gideon Sweet

 A longtime contributor to Chicago’s culinary and hospitality community, Merges is deeply passionate about giving back and leveraging the industry’s resources for philanthropy. He is the co-founder of Pilot Light, a locally-based charity that connects chefs and teachers, using food to support effective classroom teaching and learning. Merges is the proud husband of studio designer Rachel Crowl and father to Kaitie, Gretl and Tatum. In his free time, he’s an amateur photographer and climber. For reasons unclear to everyone else, he studies sailing routes and oceanic currents but doesn’t own a boat.

A longtime contributor to Chicago’s culinary and hospitality community, Merges is deeply passionate about giving back and leveraging the industry’s resources for philanthropy. He is the co-founder of Pilot Light, a locally-based charity that connects chefs and teachers, using food to support effective classroom teaching and learning. Merges is the proud husband of studio designer Rachel Crowl and father to Kaitie, Gretl and Tatum. In his free time, he’s an amateur photographer and climber. For reasons unclear to everyone else, he studies sailing routes and oceanic currents but doesn’t own a boat.

Matthias Merges

Gideon Sweet