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Chicago Gourmet - bio: Riley Huddleston
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Riley Huddleston

Prasino Wicker Park

Riley Huddleston couldn't decide whether to become a chef or an entrepreneur when he was growing up.  He used to help his grandmother cook to get out of family chores, and that turned into a passion, but his father wanted him to go to business school.  New England Culinary won out, but that didn't stop his entrepreneurial bug. Today Riley is the Executive Chef at prasino an eco-chic American Contemporary restaurant and bar emphasizing local, organic, and sustainably sourced ingredients located in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago.  Chef Riley’s ability to pair food with wine, beer or spirits creates an exciting dining experience for those lucky enough to attend one of his special dinners. He came to Chicago in 2011 to open Wild Monk, a gastro-pub in suburban La Grange.. Huddleston also helped open Covo, a high-end gyro restaurant, which landed a spot on Time Out Chicago’s “Best Things We ate in 2012” list.

In 2009 Huddleston co-founded Boise Fry Company in Boise, Idaho. BFC has gained accolades like Best French Fry in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure magazine and America’s Best Fries by Food Network. The same year he took a position as executive chef at Timber Cove Inn in California’s SonomaCoast.

Chef Riley originally began pursuing an Oceanography degree when he went to college, however realizing he was most at home in a kitchen, he left Hawaii to attend the New England Culinary Institute at its Caribbean campus,  on the island of Tortola. After graduation he worked at Gramercy Tavern in New York, then headed back to the west coast to work at Sorrento Hotel in Seattle as a pastry chef. It was there he met and worked with Executive Chef Nick Devine. Devine became a mentor for Huddleston, furthering his education as a chef but also teaching him a philosophy that he still holds sacred today.

“I aim to be a chef in a humble capacity”, says Huddleston, “You can never know everything.”

 

 

 

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