Executive Chef Greg Biggers joined Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile in January of 2011 to oversee all aspects of the hotel’s dining operations, including its restaurant, Café des Architectes. The chic, Gold Coast restaurant is celebrated for its inventive menu, creating contemporary French cuisine with seasonal ingredients and culinary innovation.
As part of his philosophy, Biggers strives to build relationships with true artisans of the craft from all over the world. Therefore, the restaurant’s menu is both globally and locally inspired; in that Biggers sources the best quality product available, from exotic fish flown in from Japan to game from Michigan’s Swan Creek Farm to small batch cheeses from France’s best creameries. Dinner menu options, which change seasonally, include Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon with pickled ramps, foie gras streusel and rhubarb jam; Roasted Maple Leaf Duck Breast with corn puree, mesquite-peach and asparagus; and Skuna Bay Salmon with Honshemeji mushrooms, soba noodle and kefir lime broth. Biggers also prepares a Degustation Menu of seasonally inspired dishes with the option of five or ten courses.
A southerner at heart, Biggers hails from Alabama, where he grew up watching his mother prepare Chicken and Dumplins’, a Saturday favorite. Biggers then went on to attend Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. While in school, he worked at Blossom Café as a Pastry Cook, learning the art of baked breads and pastries. He then became the Private Dining Chef, and then Sous Chef, at McCrady’s, an inventive, farm-driven restaurant and Charleston mainstay.
Biggers’ early career successes led him to Chicago’s 4-star restaurant, TRU. Under James Beard award-winning Chef Rick Tramonto, he held the role of Chef de Partie where he continued to develop his innovative approach to cooking. His next venture led him to Philadelphia to work at Morimoto as the Executive Sous Chef. Here, he developed his craftsmanship with pristine and exotic seafood, as well as managing a prominent, high-exposure kitchen in the heart of a busy urban locale.
Chef Biggers landed back in Chicago when called to rejoin Chef Tramonto as the Executive Chef of two new restaurant concepts, Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood and RT Lounge. Here, he lent his creativity and employed his strong management background as he oversaw the development and operation of both 3-star restaurant endeavors. Before his arrival at Sofitel Luxury Hotels, Biggers joined Levy Restaurants’ Fulton’s on the River. Responsible for a high volume operation, Biggers lead his team in successfully upholding the standards of both high-quality cuisine and impeccable service at this modern seafood and steak house.
Chef Biggers recently launched Chestnut Provisions; an artisanally-driven kitchen to table concept featuring an assortment of cave aged cheeses, charcuterie, jams and preserves. Hand-crafted by Biggers and his team in the kitchens of Sofitel Chicago, the house made products have inspired new dishes at Café des Architectes and Le Bar, in addition to the hotel’s private dining menus and amenity program. The philosophy behind Chestnut Provisions is simple. Biggers, already a proponent for seasonal and local ingredients, took this notion one step further by producing the best and freshest product in house, just steps from the dinner table. He also was the recent recipient of a StarChefs.com 2015 Rising Star Award.