Stephen Wambach

CFW-cs-Stephen-Wambach

Executive Chef , Allium Restaurant and Bar

Wambach brings more than a decade of experience in the culinary scene to Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. The food and beverage offerings will stay true to their roots, featuring the best regional ingredients presented in bold and unexpected ways throughout the Hotel. The menus are grounded in a farm-to-table philosophy, reflected in refined yet familiar dishes showcasing local purveyors. Wambach’s breadth of knowledge will be seen, through his focus on seasonality, eye for quality ingredients and thoughtful approach to plating, all hallmarks of this well-travelled chef’s signature style.

Chef Wambach trained with distinguished chefs and brought his knowledge and passion to top notch restaurants around the globe, helping many achieve high ratings. The Manhattan native began at an early age, stocking shelves at his grandparents’ country store. His first role in a professional kitchen was in 1999 as tournant at Manhattan’s 44 at the Royalton Hotel. He was mentored by consulting chef Claude Troisgros and guest chefs Marc Meneau, Jean-Michel Lorain and Jean-Pierre Vigato in one-month intervals. Wambach reveled in the sophisticated cuisine and impeccable presentation.

With a recommendation from the chef de cuisine, Wambach received an apprenticeship at three Michelin-starred restaurant L’Esperance in Burgundy, where he developed his keen attention to detail. Troisgros then hand-selected Wambach to transfer to The Blue Door in Miami’s Delano Hotel to work as sous chef under chef de cuisine Damon Gordon, helping it attain four Mobil stars. In 2004, Wambach opened French-inspired Brazilian restaurant C&B in New York, following a six-month stint at Troisgros’ Olympe in Rio de Janeiro.

He was next mentored by acclaimed chef Laurent Tourondel who was quick to promote him to chef de cuisine at the flagship location of BLT Steak in New York and then corporate chef with the BLT Restaurant Group. Wambach opened concepts in cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Dallas, managing 14 restaurants’ food and labour costs, creating menus, collaborating with the project manager and overseeing more than 300 international employees.

Ready to make a personalized mark, Wambach relocated to Chicago in 2009 to open Epic, earning the restaurant numerous accolades. During the same year, he also opened BLT locations in Hong Kong and Miami in just under an 11-month time. Next, he reconnected with Tourondel, acting as a consultant for LT Signature at the Hotel Manrey in Panama City, where he simultaneously launched a restaurant, burger bar and sushi bar in the boutique hotel. Following, Food & Beverage Director Christian Klaus hired him to consult on The Grill Room, a Mediterranean-influenced restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut in Lebanon. Most recently, in 2013, Wambach joined Michelin-starred Restaurant Marc Forgione as chef de cuisine of the contemporary American restaurant in New York.