Shawn McClain - Executive Chef/Owner|
A native of San Diego, California, and a 1990 graduate of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Evanston, Ill., McClain's star rose quickly in the culinary world. He broke onto the national scene at Trio restaurant in Evanston, earning four stars from both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. There, his style came into focus, one that juxtaposes Eastern influence with Western foundations.
After seven accolade-filled years, he left to open Spring - his homage to seafood. The restaurant opened in 2001 to extraordinary critical acclaim and consumer success. That same year, Spring was nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant award, and McClain was named Esquire magazine's Chef of the Year. In 2002, he appeared in "40 Under 40," Crain's Chicago Business' highly competitive list of who's who in the city.
By 2004, McClain was ready to take on a new challenge and opened his second restaurant, Green Zebra. An immediate success, this vanguard concept brought vegetables to the center of the plate and was lauded by The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and several other prestigious publications. Green Zebra emphasized Chef McClain's insistence on the quality of ingredients and his talent for creating innovative menus.
In 2005, he swung the pendulum in the opposite direction and opened Custom House. Located in an historic, boutique hotel setting in Chicago's Printer's Row, this modern interpretation of the classic steakhouse focuses on artisan meats and classic sides reinterpreted with McClain's unique flair. Custom House opened to rave reviews, receiving three stars from both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2006, McClain was honored with the Best Chef Midwest award from the James Beard Foundation.
At Sage, McClain changed focus once more with a New American menu built around the irresistible freshness of California's local harvests. When asked why he chose to open a restaurant in Las Vegas, McClain said, "I've been so fortunate to have achieved many of my goals in Chicago, an amazing city and great restaurant town. I have always aimed high, seeking new challenges. ARIA is such an awe-inspiring resort and I am thrilled to be among the chefs and restaurateurs here." Continuing to challenge himself, in 2012 McClain put his skills to the ultimate test when he appeared on Food Network's Iron Chef America and competed against Chef Marc Forgione. The epic battle resulted in a win for Chef McClain.
Following the success of Sage, McClain opened his first casual concept, FIVE50 Pizza Bar, also at ARIA Resort & Casino. Here, McClain put his own spin on East Coast-style pizzas, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients and hand-selected 11 American microbrews to fill the restaurant's taps. McClain's dynamic culinary expertise is exemplified with the diversity of FIVE50's menu which elevates the casual dining experience.
David Chapman - Chef de Cuisine
Chef David Chapman, a Midwest native, had a passion for cooking at a very young age. David grew up regularly cooking for his family and experimenting with different types of foods.
David's culinary journey over the last 10 years has taken him across the world. He began his career in Milwaukee working for years under a James Beard Award winning chef Paul Bartolotta at his eponymous Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro.
Ultimately, in 2008, Chapman was drawn back to Chicago where he landed a job at Sepia Restaurant under the tutelage of James Beard Award winning chef Andrew Zimmerman. A great chef and teacher, Chef exposed Chapman to the wonderful farmer's markets of Chicago and seasonal inspired menu writing. Chapman's two years at Sepia propelled him to a position with yet another James Beard Award winning chef, Paul Virant, at Restaurant Vie in Western Springs, IL. There he was able to visit the markets each week and truly become an integral part of Vie's dedicated farm to table philosophy.
In 2012, Chapman was given a chance of a lifetime: be a part of an opening restaurant team in Mumbai, India. David was exposed to an inspirational culture that revealed both new and exotic ingredients as well as a different approach to vegetarian cooking. Chapman brings to Green Zebra a decade of incredible experiences and his commitment to fresh farm ingredients and his knowledge of vegetarian cuisine are a perfect match for the restaurant.
Bill Walker - Sous Chef
Sous Chef Bill Walker has been involved in the hospitality industry since the age of 16. In the past decade, Bill has gained a diverse range of experience within the Chicago restaurant community including time at Red Light, Quartino, Old Town Social, Chop Shop, Wood and Next. In addition to training in the kitchen, Bill spent time working on a local farm, which offered him an invaluable perspective on farm-to-table dining.
At Green Zebra, Bill follows his personal culinary philosophy of maintaining close relationships with local farms by creating menus that incorporate the season's best ingredients. In years to come, Bill believes the restaurant industry will continue to evolve and progress towards healthier, sustainable dining as reflected in Green Zebra's focus on locally produced, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
About Green Zebra
Located in West Town, Chicago, Green Zebra offers a contemporary vegetarian experience. Green Zebra was born of Chef Shawn McClain's respect and appreciation for purity of ingredients, with a specific focus on locally produced, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Since 2004, the restaurant has developed relationships with farmers, foragers, and members of our community to create a precisely focused, unique dining experience that celebrates the fresh produce of each season.. Green Zebra is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:00 to 10 pm and Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information about Green Zebra, please call (312) 243-7100, visit www.greenzebrachicago.com, or the restaurant's Facebook and Twitter pages.