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Chicago Gourmet - bio: Mark Pollard
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Mark Pollard


38 years old; bachelor's in political science, Old Dominion University, 1996; various chef positions at restaurants and hotels in California, New Hampshire and New York, 1996-2008; director of research and development, Real Good Project, Emeryville, Calif., 2008; executive chef, Standard Hotel Hollywood, West Hollywood, Calif. 2009-10; executive chef, Parker Hotel, Palm Springs, Calif., January-July 2011; executive chef, Mondrian Hotel's Asia de Cuba Restaurant, West Hollywood, July-September 2011. Known most for his seafood dishes, including a Chilean sea bass with fingerling potatoes, Brussels sprout leaves and a truffle-infused crab bisque sauce.  For most of the past eight years, he's worked in boutique hotels and with a variety of cuisines and dining settings, including nightclubs. Epic is "sort of like a hotel without rooms," he says.

Epic announces the appointment of Chef Mark Pollard as the new Executive Chef for the River North restaurant.  He has been brought on to bring new innovation with a splash of sexy to Epic’s culinary concept.  Chef Pollard plans to elevate the dining experience by making the ‘unusual approachable and the familiar newly relevant.’

“I’m excited to come to America’s culinary trendsetter Chicago and establish Epic as one of the cities culinary hotspots.” Previously, Pollard was the Executive Chef at the highly acclaimed Asia de Cuba Restaurant at the Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood.  His diverse culinary career has led him to Executive Chef positions at top restaurants situated in boutique hotels around the country, including The Standard in Los Angeles and The Parker in Palm Springs.

 “I believe Chef’s to be artisan craftsmen who can elevate ingredients and techniques to create transcending sensual experiences. Exciting and modern food can still be created with fire and steel as long as there is passion.” Guests can count on being intrigued by his use of spices and flavor combinations as well as the sly sense of humor used while creating his menus. There will be a liberal amount of flavor, texture and innuendo in our new dishes.  Expect to see all new lunch and dinner menu's for fall that feature Chef Pollard’s personal style of cookery.  The new menu items are planned to match Epic’s dramatic and energetic surroundings.

“My main motivation for moving to Chicago is to be part of a dynamic culinary community,” says Pollard.  “Chicago is the place to be right now as a Chef. From local comfort food to high end restaurants people take pride in what they do and want to share it,” he explains.  When asked about his style of cooking Pollard states, “Some people may call it ‘New American’ but I love to cook what I love to eat so every night I'm throwing a dinner party and everyone is invited.

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