The culinary fire of Matt McMillin has been burning since he was 4 years old. Today, McMillin has fostered that fire into a career as a chef, educator, cookbook author, and our Chief Culinary Officer.

In May 2010, McMillin joined Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, the Midwest’s first and only winery, and restaurant under one roof and winner of Nation’s Restaurant News’ “2010 Hot Concept Award.” In the ever-changing restaurant industry, McMillin has been charged with leading culinary innovation of this concept for tomorrow for guests to enjoy today.

A man in an apron standing in front of a kitchen full of food.

McMillin was a partner in Chicago’s prestigious Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group for 15 years, opening a number of concepts including Big Bowl, Ben Pao, Mity Nice Grill, Shaw’s Crab House, Vong’s Thai Kitchen, amongst others. He has also lent his skills to many of Chicago’s fine French restaurants such as Carlos, Le Francais, and Café Provencal.

In 2000, McMillin co-authored Big Bowl Noodles and Rice, a guide to making fresh, full-flavored cuisine accessible to the home cook. Passionate about teaching and being part of the Cooper’s Hawk communities, McMillin makes regular television, radio, and teaching appearances throughout the country and served as a judge on the Thanksgiving edition of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown.

Chef McMillin is a graduate of Kendall College, where he received the Escoffier Award for Culinary and Academic Excellence. He continues his work at Kendall as a frequent teacher, guest speaker, and Culinary Advisory Board Member. A Chicago native, McMillin enjoys competing in triathlons and cooking for friends and family. He resides in Glenview, IL with his wife Susan and two children, Madeline and Michael.