Rising Star Chef Noah Sandoval of Kumiko - Biography

Chicago, IL

September 2019

Noah Sandoval has earned Michelin Stars (one at Senza, two at Oriole) and four stars in The Chicago Tribune for Oriole. He has been named one of Food & Wine’s 2017 “Best New Chefs,” and helped set the tone for a new era in fine dining in Chicago— pretty good for a chef who got into cooking to make pocket money while playing in a punk band.

Growing up in a military family, Sandoval moved around quite a bit and developed an interest in food while cooking alongside his mother. He dropped out of high school at 16, started washing dishes, worked his way up to the salad station, and found a mentor in Chef David Shannon of L’Opossum in Richmond, Virginia. Sandoval moved to Chicago to work for Marcus Samuelsson at C House, and later as sous chef at Shawn McClain’s Spring Restaurant and Michael Carson’s Schwa.

Looking for a lifestyle change, Sandoval helmed the gluten free daytime menu at Senza. After gaining success at Senza, Sandoval set out to open a restaurant of his own with his wife, Cara. Interactive, tasting-menu-only Oriole opened in 2016 in a covert alleyway in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Following national recognition, the Sandovals opened omakase bar Kumiko in 2018 with Bartender Julia Momose. Sandoval received a 2018 StarChefs Rising Star Chef award for his work.