Executive Chef/Partner, Venteux
Recognized as one of the youngest chefs to be awarded a Michelin star in the US, Executive Chef/Partner Donald Young (Crain's 20 Under 20, Jean Banchet Best Service 2019, Michelin Guide 2019) is earning wide-spread acclaim as one of the most exciting chefs to watch in the Midwest. Young began his culinary career at age 17, where he worked under award-winning chef Roland Liccioni at Le Francais, famed Chicagoland French restaurant opened by legendary French-American chef Jean Banchet. While pursuing a degree in culinary arts at Chicago's Kendall College, Young secured a six-month internship in Castres, France, where he studied under acclaimed chef Simon Scott at Michelin-starred Bistrot Saveurs. Enthralled with French cuisine, Young followed his mentor Liccioni throughout most of his career, ascending through culinary roles at beloved Chicago restaurants Miramar Bistro and Les Nomades.
In 2017, Young graduated from his role of chef de cuisine at Les Nomades to become co-chef and eventually executive chef at Temporis, a progressive, 20 seat American fine-dining restaurant offering a 10-course tasting menu each evening. The following year at age 28, Young earned Temporis its first Michelin star, making him the youngest chef in Chicago to garner this prestigious recognition. In 2019, Young took on the role of executive chef at New American restaurant WoodWind in Chicago's luxe Magnificent Mile epicenter. There he applied his acumen for fine dining to create simple yet elegant shared plates in a more relaxed setting. Now as executive chef/partner of Venteux, a lively French brasserie located within the landmark 1920s Art Deco Carbide and Carbon high rise building in Chicago, Young marries classic French techniques with self-taught modern cooking. At Venteux, Young takes an unpretentious yet tailored approach in creating a bold contemporary menu that propels guests on an exciting culinary journey somewhere between the Champs-Elysées and Chicago's famed Michigan Avenue.
A native of San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, Justin Gomes was immersed in the Caribbean island's unique and diverse culinary culture from an early age. Through family gatherings centered around food and music, working in local restaurants and cooking for his friends, Gomes developed a passion that would eventually lead him nearly 3,000 miles from home to study at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. After graduating in 2013 with a degree in culinary arts, Gomes officially launched his career on the city's world-class dining scene at legendary restaurant The Pump Room, serving first as an intern and rising through the ranks to sous chef. After four years, Gomes made the move to famed Chef Grant Achatz's three MICHELIN Star fine-dining concept Alinea, spending time in multiple roles including commis, chef de partie and kitchen manager. He would go on to assume the position of sous chef at the Virgin Hotel in the Chicago Loop where he led development of the culinary programs of in-house concepts The Commons Club restaurant, Cerise rooftop bar and Two Zero Three coffee shop. From there, Gomes continued to hone his skills while staging in numerous highly-acclaimed Chicago kitchens including Temporis, Acadia , Sepia, Elizabeth and North Pond.
In 2019, Gomes landed at boutique hotel LondonHouse Chicago, where he rose to the position of chef de cuisine at LHOn21, the hotel's chic rooftop restaurant and lounge. Now, Gomes brings his deep love for food and hospitality along with experience garnered working alongside some of the world's most esteemed chefs as he joins MICHELIN Starred Executive Chef - Partner Don Young as chef de cuisine of Venteux, Young's lively French brasserie and Champagne bar set within the Pendry Hotel in downtown Chicago.
Born on a small farming island in the Philippines, Verlord Laguatan developed an interest in food at an early age while helping his family tend to their crops and the animals they raised. Laguatan's family relocated to Chicago in 2007 and this interest grew into a passion for the hospitality industry as he held jobs in restaurant kitchens during high school. Laguatan made his first big career move in 2014 when he took on the role of line cook at prominent restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Gold Coast restaurant, Pump Room, eventually working his way up to sous chef under Chef Ross Mendoza (Tabla, ABC Kitchen, BLVD). In 2018 Laguatan joined the team at the Virgin Hotel downtown, where he worked in the kitchens of both the property's quirky breakfast spot, Miss Ricky's, and Commons Club, its upscale contemporary American dining concept. From here, he continued to cultivate his culinary skills and expertise at MICHELIN Starred New American restaurant Sepia, rising in the ranks from line cook to sous chef under acclaimed Chef Andrew Zimmerman (MOD, Del Toro, NoMI). At the end of 2019, Laguatan joined forces with longtime friend Chef Zubair Mohajir (Pump Room, Bouchon Bistro) to help open Wazwan, a Halal-American concept serving dishes inspired by South Asia's street food culture, as chef de cuisine. Now as sous chef of Venteux, the upscale French bistro and Champagne bar on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, Laguatan works alongside Executive Chef Donald Young to execute a menu of inventive Nouvelle French dishes featuring unique, modern twists and visually-striking presentations.