How it All Began
In December 1997, Donald J. Madia, Eduard Seitan, Rick Diarmit and Paul Kahan opened Blackbird, one of Chicago’s most respected modern fine-dining establishments. Critically acclaimed Blackbird is home to Executive Chef Paul Kahan, winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013 and Best Chef of the Midwest in 2004. Chef de Cuisine Ryan Pfeiffer joined Kahan in the kitchen in 2015, and together they craft elegant and imaginative Midwestern cuisine, showcasing farm-fresh ingredients to create a menu both classic and utterly approachable.
Pastry Chef Nicole Guni’s modern technique perfectly complements Hendrix’s poignant style, seamlessly culminating the Blackbird experience. The culinary partnership of Pfeiffer and Guini is right at home in the austere, yet serene, restaurant adding to the atmosphere that sets Blackbird apart. Managing Partner and Owner, Donnie Madia and Architect Thomas Schlesser crafted a unique and timeless atmosphere in 1997, earning the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design and Best Restaurant Design Graphics in 2002. The design incorporates sharp minimalism with expanses of white space and mahogany red oak complemented by a stainless steel open kitchen.
Named for the French slang term for a Merlot grape, Blackbird leads a growing cadre of independent restaurants helmed by chef/restaurateurs who have built a solid culinary reputation for Chicago. Delivering a smart and peerless approach to dining for patrons from all over the world, the restaurant has earned its place as one of Chicago's premier dining destinations, receiving Michelin stars in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.