Thomas Lents was appointed executive chef of Sixteen in January 2012, after working in the world’s most celebrated fine-dining establishments. In his new position at the acclaimed restaurant on the sixteenth floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, Chef Lents presents innovative menu programming that marries the details and qualities of traditional fine dining with his own modern style and culinary perspective.
Chef Lents began his career as executive sous chef of Chicago’s four-star restaurant Everest, under the direction of Chefs Jean Joho and Thierry Tritsch. After a five-year tenure, he chose to broaden his culinary perspective by moving to Dublin, Ireland, where he worked as a sous chef in charge of the wild game and seafood departments at the Michelin two star-rated Thornton Restaurant inside the Fitzwilliam Hotel. During his time abroad, Chef Lents took advantage of his proximity to England and staged in several acclaimed kitchens, including the Michelin three star-rated Waterside Inn in Bray and Le Manoir Aux Quatres Saisons in Great Milton.
Upon returning to the United States in 2007, Thomas accepted a position at the Michelin three star-rated, five-diamond Joel Rubochon at The Mansion inside Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, where he was quickly promoted from sous chef of the meat and fish stations to executive sous chef. In 2008, he moved north to San Francisco to take the chef de cuisine position at the Michelin-rated Quince Restaurant, before Chef Robuchon reached out and offered him the opportunity to be the first American to serve as chef de cuisine of his namesake restaurant – a position Lents graciously accepted.
A Michigan native, Lents holds an advanced placement culinary art degree from the New England Culinary Institute, where he studied under founding Chef Michel LeBorgne, as well as a B.A. in philosophy from Wabash College in Indiana.