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Meet Chef Adam Weisell

Meet Chef Adam Weisell

Eataly Magazine is pleased to introduce you to the chef of La Scuola di Eataly Chicago, Adam Weisell!

At Eataly, we are proud to work with world-class chefs, who transform simple, high-quality ingredients into the delicious dishes in our restaurants. We want you to get to know the people behind the food, so we interviewed Chef Adam about his love for cooking and life in the kitchen.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I kind of fell into the job while taking some time off from college. Cooking had always been a hobby, but I had never considered cooking for a living until it happened and I really liked it. It suits my personality, I guess.

Did you train at an institute?
I am self-taught, meaning I learned on the job. It’s the best way to learn how to cook, I think.

Tell us about your past professional experience:
I worked in New York City for 11 years; I worked for Mario Batali back in 2002 to 2004 at Lupa, and I know Chef Alex Pilas (Executive Chef of Eataly USA) and Zach Allen (B & B Ristorante chef) from those years. I was sous for Sara Jenkins (now owner of Porchetta and Porsena in New York) for two years at 50 Carmine and Annona. I worked for Scott Connant (l’Impero), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), Jody Williams (Gusto), and Marc Meyer (Five Points, Cookshop) all fairly briefly. I was sous at Il Buco under Ignacio Mattos, now the chef and owner of Estela. I was the executive chef at Aurora in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, from 2009 to 2011 before I left for San Francisco. Then, I was executive chef at 54 Mint in San Francisco for two years before moving here to Chicago.

What is your specialty Italian dish?
I would have to say Spaghetti alla Carbonara. I grew up in Rome, where it originates, and it has always been a favorite of mine. It’s a simple dish but very technical to execute. I have made it hundreds of times, and I’m still perfecting it.

What ingredients are you craving the most right now?
Tomatoes because I love them, and I’ve gone almost a year without eating any good ones. I have lots of tomato plants in my yard but no fruit yet!

Do you have any quirks that your team teases you about?
I lose it if things are not in their proper place. I cannot work in a dirty station. Don’t steal my tools!

If you weren't a chef, what profession would you have?
If I had been more focused in school, I think I would have enjoyed being a doctor.

Tell us a behind-the-counter secret about Eataly!
You don’t realize how young the company is until you start working here; everything is still evolving and nothing is set in stone.

From fresh pasta to Roman street food, Chef Adam teaches classes on a variety of topics at La Scuola di Eataly Chicago, our cooking school. As he demonstrates dishes, guests enjoy each course — with wine pairings, of course! To take a class with the chef, click here

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Piacere di conoscerti, Chef Adam: nice to meet you!