Chef de Cuisine, Blackbird
Chicago-native Ryan Pfeiffer balances simplicity of execution with complexity of flavor in a way that is perfectly suited to Blackbird, a classic Chicago restaurant on the cusp of turning 20 years old. Ryan began culinary school by happenstance, and later spent time in California. While on the west coast, Pfeiffer also worked at Brothers restaurant under Chefs Matt and Jeff Nichols. The brothers’ laidback Californian mindset, coupled with the precision of French culinary training, is a mentality Pfeiffer carries into the kitchen at Blackbird today.
Missing the Midwest, Pfeiffer moved back to Chicago to stage in various Michelin-starred restaurants, before finding a home in Blackbird. Under then Chef de Cuisine David Posey, Pfeiffer worked his way up from lunch cook to sous chef before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. At Blackbird’s helm, Pfeiffer strives to create harmony between elaborately complex technique and organic free-flowing composition. Under Ryan’s leadership, Blackbird was named Chicago’s Restaurant of the Year at the 2016 Jean Banchet Awards, and was recognized as one of the country’s 50 best restaurants by Business Insider.