• A Promising Young Chef Plots a New Course in Lincoln Square

    by Samantha Nelson / Eater Chicago / February 9, 2023

    Christian Hunter looks to continue the legacy of Iliana Regan’s Michelin-starred Elizabeth

    When Christian Hunter was chosen as a James Beard Award semifinalist for best chef in the Northeast last month, he’d already put in his notice at Community Table in Washington, Connecticut, and trained his sous chef to take over the kitchen. But the accolade isn’t giving Hunter any pause as he prepares to move to Chicago to helm Atelier, the new tasting-menu restaurant replacing Michelin-starred Elizabeth.

    “Not to say anything bad about my previous employer, but I know that my time is up there,” Hunter says. “I really enjoyed almost three years there, but when the Atelier job showed up, it seemed like a perfect job for me.”

    Tim Lacey took over ownership of Elizabeth from chef and founder Iliana Regan after COVID-19 suspended indoor dining in Chicago in 2020. Regan and her wife Anna Hamlin left the city for the Milkweed Inn, their bed and breakfast in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where Regan is also pursuing a writing career (her second book was recently released) Lacey and Regan had been friends since working together at the now-shuttered Trio Atelier in Evanston, and Atelier borrows both that restaurant’s name and the philosophy of its owner Henry Adaniya, who gave Grant Achatz his start.
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