Rising Star Chef Todd Stein of The Florentine at the JW Marriott Chicago - Biography

Chicago, IL

November 2011

2005 Chicago Rising Star Chef Todd Stein sealed his fate in fifth grade (circa 1979), after a day-long internship at a restaurant kitchen. Right then, he knew he was hungry for more. Years later and three weeks into his culinary studies at Kendall College, he accepted an apprenticeship under legendary chef Keith Korn at Chicago’s Gordon Restaurant. It was also during this time that he had an opportunity to complete a stage at Le Bernardin in New York, working under Chef Eric Ripert. He followed his schooling with a stint in France, learning to bake bread at Moulin de la Vierge, and a trip to Bologna, Italy, where he studied Italian cuisine. He returned to Chicago in 1999 after an opportunity to help Chef Michael Kornick open mk came about.

Stein then moved to Cleveland to open and develop three of its most successful restaurants: Piccolo Mondo, Sans Souci and Vivo. His work and the resulting buzz earned him “Rising Star” honors in Restaurant Hospitality magazine and collectively garnered the highest in Zagat ratings and the AAA 4-Diamond award.
Stein’s shared philosophy with mentor Michael Kornick brought him back to Chicago in his current position as Executive Chef at mk, where he was most recently awarded a 2005 Rising Star Award from StarChefs. His cooking at mk was marked by a mix of sophistication and approachability. Stein moved to Minneapolis in 2007 where he worked briefly as executive chef at the Westin Hotel’s B.A.N.K. restaurant. Shortly after, Stein was appointed executive chef of David Burke Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel, where he created the restaurant’s modern American menu. Stein returned to Chicago in 2009 as executive chef of Cibo Matto and ROOF at the Wit Hotel, crafting modern Italian dishes at both restaurants. With Stein’s menu, Cibo Matto became a 2010 James Beard Award semi-finalist in the Best New Restaurant category and garnered three-star reviews from both The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. As Executive Chef of JW Marriott's The Florentine, Stein creates seasonal menu of Italian-American menu.