Chef / Proprietor
Ryan McCaskey describes his style as “simultaneously contemporary and classic. The first half of my career was rooted in classical cuisine, technique-driven, the fundamentals. Recently, my focus shifted to subtlety, layering flavors and using contemporary techniques. But one doesn’t overshadow the other – they work in harmony, balancing out one another.”
After graduating from Kendall College (1996), Chef McCaskey accepted the position of chef de cuisine and pastry chef at Black Locust (Fish Creek, Wisconsin). While at the helm, the restaurant was named one of the top three restaurants in the state by the Milwaukee Journal. Ryan then opted to return to Chicago, working as chef de cuisine at Vivere and then at the acclaimed Rushmore. when Rushmore closed unexpectedly (due to a fire), he took some time off, staging at the four-star Trio under Grant Achatz and Tru under Rick Tramonto, as well as working at les Deux Gras, Rhapsody, and Allen’s.
He next worked as Executive Chef at the Moroccan Tizi Melloul. When Rushmore reopened, McCaskey returned as executive chef. In 2007, he was offered the position as executive chef at the four-star Courtright’s.
In 2010, McCaskey began plans for Acadia. Acadia opened in late 2011 and has since garnered accolades from both local and national sources. The most noteworthy accolades since opening have been a Michelin star after just nine months, (retained 2013, 2014, 2015), Two Michelin stars in 2016 (retained for 2017), and 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Five- Star ratings from AAA. Other awards have been Best New Restaurant–Jean Banchet Awards, 2013, and semi-finalist nominations for Best Chef. Great Lakes by the James Beard Foundation.