Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Chef Cory Morris discovered his passion for food at a young age. Self-taught throughout adolescence, Cory got his first break into the culinary world as a line cook at popular ski resort, The Mariposa at Deer Valley, in Salt Lake City. Cory continued his path in the hospitality industry, pulling inspiration from his travels to culinary epicenters like Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France.
In 2008, Cory moved to Chicago to open Spanish-inspired restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, as sous chef. There he worked closely under renowned Iron Chef and Chicago native, Jose Garces (James Beard Awarded Best Chef Mid-Atlantic) and was later promoted to chef de cuisine, helping them earn recognition as a Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand restaurant in 2014. Following his success, he later opened Rural Society, an Argentinian steakhouse within the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington D.C. where he honed his affinity for wood fire cooking and classic Argentine cuisine. Cory furthered his love for Latin American flavors in opening his first restaurant concept as executive chef and partner at Ronero, located along Chicago’s famed “restaurant row” in the West Loop.
Now as chef de cuisine at Boleo, a lively South American-inspired rooftop restaurant and bar atop The Kimpton Gray Hotel, Cory continues to pull inspiration from his world travels. With a focus on authentic Argentine and Peruvian cooking techniques, he lends his expertise in South American flavors in creating a vibrant menu of interactive small plates, perfect for sharing under Boleo’s year-round retractable glass rooftop.
Cory has appeared locally on Windy City Live, WGN, WCIU the U and Check, Please! as well as nationally on Food Network’s Chopped. He has also been featured in publications such as Serious Eats, Zagat, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader and more. When not in the kitchen, Cory can be found rock climbing, traveling the globe for more culinary inspiration and binge-watching the latest Netflix original series.
Jess Lambert jumpstarted her career bartending at Blue Hound Kitchen in downtown Phoenix, apprenticing under acclaimed Bartenders and Mixologists, Tyson Buhler (Death + Company, United States Bartender's Guild Best Bartender Winner 2015) and Shel Bourdon (The Dead Rabbit, Last Slinger Standing Ultimate Shake Off Competition Winner). While in Phoenix, she crossed paths with bartender Mike Ryan (Sable Kitchen & Bar, Jean Banchet Award nominee for Best Mixologist, Cocktail Apprentice Program Leader of Tales of the Cocktail) who now serves as the Director of Bars for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. She credits Mike as the driving force behind her ascension into the craft cocktail realm, following his advice to secure a spot in the prestigious international Cocktail Apprentice Program of Tales of the Cocktail in 2014 before graduating to Grey Coat leader the following year.
Jess eventually made her big-city move to Chicago, where she landed at cocktail destination The Dawson. She ventured into more complex cocktails under the guidance of Clint Rogers (Graham Elliot, The Gage) before joining Sable Kitchen & Bar in early 2015. She was instrumental in contributing to Sable’s bar program that has garnered 12 Tales of the Cocktail nominations and numerous “Best Bar” accolades from publications including Esquire, USA Today and Food & Wine. Her personal honors include a StarChef’s Chicago Rising Star nomination and first runner up placement in the International Sherry Competition 2015. She has been recognized by Star Chefs as one of the Rising Stars of Chicago for her modern, and savory Tiki cocktails, and her inspired cocktail recipes have graced the pages of Vogue, Liquor.com, Food & Wine, Yahoo.com and Chilled magazine. Now in 2016, Jess makes the leap to Head Bartender of Boleo and Vol. 39, where she will take a culinary approach to the cocktail programs, aiming to enhance a familiar sensory experience within each unique creation.