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Chicago Gourmet - bio: Erling Wu Bower
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Erling Wu-Bower

The Publican

Erling Wu-Bower’spassion for charcuterie and seafood are an ideal fit for The Publican, a restaurant whose mission is to source honest and delicious ingredients and present them in a simple manner.

Born in South Bend Indiana, Wu-Bower moved to Chicago at an early age and has called it home ever since. Cooking ran in the blood for Wu-Bower; his mother is a food writer and his father a food loving Cajun. He had little choice but to pursue a career in what he was taught and loved most—food. “I don’t know what else I’d do, cooking has been ingrained on my soul. There aren’t many people who get to go to work and practice their passion every day.”

After attending the University of Notre Dame as a philosophy student, Wu-Bower began his career with Executive Chef Paul Kahan at avec. It was during his three years there that he honed his skill for charcuterie under the careful direction of Chef de Cuisine Koren Grieveson. When Kahan conceptualized The Publican as a restaurant dedicated to pork and oysters, Wu-Bower was a clear fit. He has worked there since its inception.

At 28, Wu-Bower’s resume includes stints at The Outpost and Green Dolphin Street in Chicago, and Cetrella in Half Moon Bay California. He has spent significant time staging at Quince in San Francisco.

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