Chef Marco Bahena’s love for cooking began first with a passion for taking care of others when he was a teen.

Realizing he could nurture others through his food, an afternoon of baking cookies would lead to a lifelong passion in the kitchen. The first stop would be Mexican Fiesta, his Uncle’s family-owned restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan. The long hours and fast paced lifestyle would engrain itself on the young Chef, inspiring him to train professionally at Kendall College in the Culinary Arts.

With more mature technical skills under his belt, he was awarded a culinary scholarship that would then carry him to the Basque Region. The bustling flavors of Spain encouraged him to take advantage of the opportunity to work at a 3-Michelin star restaurant, ‘Martin Berasategui’. When asked about this time in his career, he’s highlighted the importance of earning the respect of his peers and the power of dedicating yourself to your craft.

After leaving the region, he found himself at the Everest in Chicago, IL. As he progressed through the traditional French brigade system under seasoned leadership, he developed his palate by exploring the diverse flavors of the city.

Current influences for Chef include a focus on hyper-local farming, which provides fresh produce to incorporate into the menus at the Rubenstein Forum and for BARDAVID.

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