Meet Our Team
These people have helped us a lot in our long journey. Thanks Christopher, Jason and Thomas for your great support. Without your help we can not reach todays position. But, For serving more better service we working with our new vision and fully new team. In our team we have lots of talented person who will try to give more better service than before.
A long-time Chicago restaurant veteran, Christopher Gerber has compiled a storied resume. He began his career in the industry as a food runner and server, working at many spots around town; what began as a job has turned into a lifelong passion.
In 2003, Gerber accepted an offer owner Henry Adaniya to work as Manager at the highly-praised Trio with Chef Grant Achatz; from Trio, Gerber then managed front-of-house operations at TRU, a position he accepted on a short-term basis as he would be leaving within the year to open up Alinea with Achatz. At Alinea, Gerber worked as Maitre d’ and developed the service standards for the restaurant, which has gone on to be named one of the top restaurants in the world.
In 2006, Gerber left Alinea to work at NoMi and The Publican; in 2010, he began discussing plans with Ryan McCaskey to develop Acadia, where he acts as creative consultant, focusing on the front of the house operations.
From his early days as a food-runner to working at some of the best restaurants in town, a love affair for Gerber with food, wine and hospitality was borne.
Sommelier and Wine Director Jason Prah has worked in the Chicago restaurant scene for more than a decade, having started as Assistant Wine Director at The Italian Village, a Wine Spectator “Grand Award” recipient. Over the years, he has held the title of Wine Director as well as General Manager at several acclaimed restaurants, including La Vita, Tizi Melloul and Allen’s. Prior to joining the Acadia team, Prah was Wine Director at Eno Wine Room at the Intercontinental Hotel, where he also consulted for their sister property at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.
Prah is a Level Two Sommelier in the Guild of the Court of Master Sommeliers and plans to continue to pursue the challenge of obtaining the title of Master Sommelier. His style takes the pretense out of the wine experience, making it both accessible and fun, while at the same time educating his customers. He believes that wine – from making it to enjoying it – resonates on cultural, historical and personal levels, making it an important element to our existence.
Thomas Raquel began cooking like many other future chefs – in the home kitchen, alongside his grandmother. He had planned on going to medical school, but after graduating from high school (at 16), Raquel took a weekend cooking class and decided to enroll in culinary school “for fun” before committing his life to medicine. The youngest student enrolled in the California School of Culinary Arts (2003), Raquel excelled in the classroom, graduating at the top of the class; while in school, he worked at area restaurants including Lucques, AOC and The Water Grill. Upon graduation the following year, Raquel spent some time staging in Paris, including at Pierre Herme, and traveled extensively.
In 2008, Raquel accepted a pastry position working at the highly acclaimed L2O in Chicago. Laurent Gras had a tremendous influence on Raquel, and honed the young cook’s focus, discipline and passion, driving his style of bridging classic flavors with modern technique. While at L2O, the restaurant garnered three Michelin stars – one of only two restaurants in Chicago at the time to obtain that honor. In early 2012, Raquel met Ryan McCaskey, who had recently opened Acadia, and accepted the Pastry Chef position at the celebrated restaurant. At Acadia, Raquel continues to focus on seasonal, modern desserts grounded in classic technique – and infused with a touch of humor. A cancer survivor, Raquel finds balance in his life with a committed yoga practice; he hopes to one day open a patisserie, offering the perfect macaron in addition to pastries and chocolates. In addition to English, he speaks Tagalog and Spanish, and lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.