Owner / Chef
Chef Grant Achatz is one of the most awarded and recognized chefs in the world. Known for his innovative, emotional, and modernist style of cuisine, he has been named Best Chef in the United States by the James Beard Foundation, honored by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, and has given talks and lectures on gastronomy and design at conferences and universities around the world.
Grant began working in restaurants as soon as he could walk. His parents owned a diner in Michigan, and he spent his childhood years working alongside his family.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America at age 21, Grant spent a short time at Charlie Trotter’s before finding his mentor in chef Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. Grant worked for a total of 5 years at the French Laundry, eventually rising to sous chef. During his time in California, he also spent a year working at La Jota vineyards. A short stage at elBulli in Roses, Spain was exceptionally influential and led Grant to seek out his first executive chef position at Trio in Evanston, IL. It was there that his creativity and desire to innovate flourished. In 2002 and 2003, respectively, Grant was recognized by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the nation’s Best New Chefs and named the Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation.
Micah began his studies in computer science before finding his calling in the culinary arts. Micah was part of the opening team at The Aviary, helping to research and develop the opening menus. He was also The Aviary’s first “Ice Chef” — perhaps the only such chef in the world — charged with creating over 30 types of ice for the bar program. Over the next three years, Micah would be promoted to Sous Chef and then to Beverage Director. While serving as Beverage Director, Micah has been instrumental in opening The Aviary NYC in partnership with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
Micah’s accomplishments have been recognized by many organizations and publications. In 2014, Micah was included in Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in Chicago list. In 2015, he was selected as a Young Gun by Eater. In 2016, Micah was named as one of 40 Food and Beverage Professionals on the Rise by FSR Magazine and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30.
Micah spends his time beyond the drink kitchen developing new cocktails, drink presentations, and researching spirits.
Bar Director, Operations
Alexis studied Biochemistry at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. While in school, she worked in both dive bars and fine dining restaurants but never expected to make a career in the industry. She moved to New York City, intending to take a one-year break from her studies, and never looked back.
She was hired by Perilla Restaurant as Assistant General Manager, but her boss quickly realized her true passion was the bar. For the rest of her time at Perilla, Alexis managed the beverage menu. When not at Perilla, she explored the food and beverage scene with her now-husband Ed, falling more in love with craft cocktails.
In 2013, Alexis and Ed arrived in Chicago. Ed was offered a job at Next (where he is currently the Chef de Cuisine) and Alexis was offered a job next door, expediting the bar line at The Aviary. After one and a half years, Alexis moved back behind the bar and, in 2015, was promoted to Head Bartender. In 2017, Alexis became Bar Director, Operations.
Alexis was named a Red Coat by Tales of the Cocktail for its 2016 Cocktail Apprentice Program and returned as a Grey Coat in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, she participated in the Chicago Cocktail Summit as a panelist.
Bar Director, R&D
Ingi began working in kitchens while still in high school. In 2009, he moved to Chicago to join the staff at Alinea. Two years later, he transitioned to The Aviary and served as Sous Chef of the opening kitchen team. While working closely with the The Aviary bar team, Ingi became interested in the world of cocktails. He left The Alinea Group in June 2012 to learn the craft from “the ground up.” After putting in time as a busser and barback, Ingi was given the opportunity to lead the cocktail program at Sixteen Restaurant. In 2013, Ingi moved to Florida after he was hired by the Ritz Carlton Sarasota to revitalize their cocktail program.
In 2015, Ingi returned to Chicago and rejoined The Alinea Group as Chef de Cuisine of The Aviary bar team. In 2017, he became Bar Director, R&D.
Jeremiah moved from St. Louis to Chicago in the summer of 2010 to truly pursue a career in hospitality. After working at a modern Indian restaurant for a year, he left to explore Scotland, France, and Spain. Jeremiah returned to Chicago in February 2012, and after a brief discussion about negronis and coffee cocktails, started as a runner at The Aviary.
He was promoted to Assistant General Manager in February 2013, and then to General Manager in February 2015.
Jeremiah is engaged by The Aviary’s continued drive to improve every aspect of the dining experience, to redefine what it means to go to dinner and to get a drink, and by the excitement surrounding The Alinea Group's culture of intentional and continual reinvention.