|The allure of earning a livelihood as a professional chef beckoned to Christopher Eley at an early age. Born in Indianapolis, IN in 1978, the budding chef earned his associates degree in 1999 from one of the nation’s top culinary schools, Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.
Aspiring to complement his culinary education and gain further insight into both Front and Back of the house operations, chef Eley spent three years as a student in Purdue University’s esteemed hospitality and tourism management undergraduate program, earning his bachelor’s degree in 2001.
He donned an apron for the first time in a professional kitchen in 2000, working as sous chef for the esteemed restaurateur Peter George at his charming Bistro 936 in Indianapolis, IN. For over a year, he learned the basic cooking and leadership skills it takes to run a top-notch restaurant.
Following his stint at Bistro 936, chef Eley stayed within George’s faction of fine-dining establishments and continued to build a diverse knowledge base by being named executive chef for Chops An American Steakhouse in 2001. One of Indy’s most anticipated restaurant openings of the year, the youthful chef Eley rose to the challenge and earned significant respect and recognition for the establishment.
Subsequently, chef Eley’s work was so admired at Chops that he was summoned back to his former home at Bistro 936 in 2002, this time to serve as executive chef.
Eager to embark upon his next gastronomic adventure, the ambitious chef catapulted onto the Chicago culinary scene in 2003, taking a position as sous chef at Wildfire, a successful steak and chop house in Rich Melman’s Lettuce Entertain You empire.
In the latter part of 2003, the talented 24-year-old’s career path ultimately led him to Viand Bar & Kitchen where he assumed the role of executive sous chef. Advancement quickly followed and in a span of two years he ascended to his present position of executive chef where his responsibilities range from staff training and overseeing quality control to creating compelling menus.