Meet The Chef
As a classically trained chef, allow me to create a culinary experience that will make you feel like you are dining in a five star restaurant. I am a former Division I collegiate football & Basketball athlete. I have used my culinary training and time as an athlete to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I come from a cooking background my uncle and grandfather were both chef’s. As a kid I would always sit in the kitchen and watch my mother make dinner for my siblings and me. I was always very interested in the things that went on in the kitchen but it was not until my sophomore year of college that I came to the realization that I love to cook.
One day Buddy Valastro was on Kitchen Boss and the dish he prepared was an Italian pot roast. I recorded the program after thinking about how good the dish looked. I wrote down all of the ingredients and I went to the store not knowing what pancetta or any of the other ingredients were. I prepared the dish and it turned out extremely delicious. Ever since that day I told myself that I wanted to be a chef.
I knew that my athletic career would come to an end. So I had to think of something fun that I loved doing which happens to be cooking and ever since that day I have been Chef Grady. After playing sports at Northern Illinois University and graduating, I decided to attend culinary school at The Illinois Institute Of Art Chicago. The most memorable class in culinary school was the intro class, because it focused on the basics and the details of each dish from cutting potatoes into specific shapes to fabricating a chicken. I loved every minute of it, and once I received that feeling I knew that this was what I wanted to do.
I worked at 312 Chicago as a host while attending culinary school. Working at 312 allowed me to see what goes on in a restaurant in the front of the house as well as the back of the house. Executive Chef Luca Corazzina and his sous chef Louis Silva really taught me a lot and what it takes to be in a kitchen and run it successfully. I was able to see first hand what goes on when a restaurant is extremely busy when dealing with theater season, holidays or special events that are taking place in Chicago. Ultimately, I decided that being in a restaurant was not somewhere that I wanted to be. I took a leap of faith and ventured out on my own.
I first started out helping a friend who has her own catering company. Working with her allowed me to get a feel for what it was like to be in the catering business. I was then given an opportunity to become a personal chef for a family in Barrington Illinois. I did that for 11 months. Once I was able to become a personal chef that opened up doors for me in so many ways. I then started to do private dinners for 2, Cater on my own and meal prep for clients. I have been truly blessed with the different opportunities that I have been presented with which has allowed me to start my own business in Chef Grady Catering/Private chef.