Rising Star Chef Mark Liberman of AQ Restaurant & Bar - Biography

San Francisco, CA

May 2012

Born in San Francisco and raised in lush Sonoma County, Mark Liberman had a fertile food foundation—thanks in part to his farm-to-table environs and his Colombian mother and Polish father, who presented young Liberman with a wealth of ethnic food options. To transition his passion for food into a career, Liberman headed to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

After graduating with honors in 1998, Liberman staged for four months in France at two Michelin-starred Carre des Feuillantes. He returned to Northern California, where he climbed the ranks at Savoy 614 Bistro in Folsom and Cascade’s in Roseville. In 2005, Liberman moved to Las Vegas, where he worked as saucier at Daniel Boulud Brasserie and then chef de partie at MGM Grand’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Tired Las Vegas restaurant scene, he returned to San Francisco in 2007 to take up the chef de cuisine position at Michelin-starred La Folie, where he worked closely with Chef Roland Passot. The next year, Liberman partnered with his brother, opening Forte, a contemporary Italian concept, located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In 2010 Liberman was invited to New York to participate in the Bocuse d’Or USA semi-finals, where he placed among the top 10 finalists. Heading back to San Francisco, he joined forces with Restaurateur Matt Semmelhack to collaborate the opening of AQ. After winning rave reviews for his eclectic, season-forward cuisine at AQ, Liberman is working on opening the group’s second restaurant TBD, where he plans to focus on his love of wood-fired cooking.