The Chef Who Led the World’s First Michelin-Starred Brewpub Is Now Tackling Italian

Jul 01, 2021 279

BY: Alyson Sheppard

You’ve got to have guts to open a red sauce joint in Chicago, especially if you’ve never even been to Italy before. But if chef Soo Ahn has proven anything this past year, it’s that he has nerve. In 2020, Ahn walked away from Chicago’s Band of Bohemia, where the executive chef had earned a Michelin star for the restaurant, citing a toxic work environment.

It was the first brewpub in America to earn a coveted star, and Ahn’s departure sparked a reckoning; the owners shuttered it and declared bankruptcy soon after. Now Ahn is back in the kitchen, translating his offbeat culinary sensibilities into Italian—even though he’s yet to visit Bel Paese. He is leading the team at Adalina, a new two-story restaurant inside the No. 9 Walton building in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood and he is aware of all the expectations that come along with that.

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