Zoe Schor comes to Ada Street in Chicago after working for some of the world’s most renowned chefs. At 29, she has spent most of her culinary career in Los Angeles, most recently as the Executive Chef of The Darkroom on Melrose. Before heading the kitchen at The Darkroom, Schor’s experience includes positions as Chef de Partie at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Executive Sous Chef at Todd English’s Beso and on the line at Tom Colicchio’s Craft, which was her first job after attending the National Gourmet Institute in New York City.
Schor’s love for food began with her father, who worked summers at her grandfather’s restaurant. He made sure Zoe and her siblings were never afraid of food. While most children were hesitant to eat fish sticks, Schor and her siblings devoured sushi. Her philosophy is to create approachable and quality food without too much fuss.
“My appreciation for food and wine comes from a childhood of learning that if it’s easy, it isn’t necessarily good, but that good doesn’t necessarily mean complicated. Simple pleasures are often the best,” says Schor.
Schor’s position as Chef at Ada Street is seminal for her, having long since admired owners Chef Michael Kornick and David Morton from afar.
“They have impeccable standards when it comes to hospitality,” she says. It’s exciting to be a part of a dynamic company whose policy isn’t just to “empty the guests’ pockets,” but rather create a comfortable environment where people want to hang out and enjoy their experience.”
After spending the bulk of her career on the West Coast, Schor is happy to be in Chicago. Outside of the kitchen, she loves to read and write fiction, cook at home and listen to music. On a night off, she can be found sipping on a glass of red wine and relaxing to the Billie Holiday station on Pandora.