How Jonathon Sawyer’s passion for live-fire cooking ignites the menu at Kindling

The James Beard Award-winning chef partnered with Fifty/50 Restaurant Group to realize his culinary vision at the soaring two-story space inside Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower.

This episode of Menu Feed is brought to you by Tock.

James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer heads up the kitchen at Kindling Downtown Cookout & Cocktails, a new 500-seat restaurant where almost every menu item touches the wood-fueled fire at some point in its culinary journey.

That’s not an easy task, being that Kindling is housed in a soaring two-story space inside Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, one of the tallest office buildings in the world.

Johathon Sawyer

Although Sawyer graduated from culinary school, he previously studied to be an engineer—training that helped him design Kindling’s kitchen and equipment to realize his vision. Listen as he talks about his culinary journey, how the restaurants he created in Cleveland turned that city into a dining destination, why he’s cooking the most authentic expression of his cuisine at Kindling and how he plans to evolve the restaurant going forward.

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