Proprietor and Executive Chef
Acadia, Chicago, IL
Ryan McCaskey describes his style as “simultaneously contemporary and classic.” The first half of his career was rooted in classical cuisine and technique-driven, “the fundamentals.” Recently, his focus shifted to subtlety, layering flavors and using contemporary techniques. “But one doesn’t overshadow the other – they work in harmony, balancing out one another.”
After graduating from Kendall College (1996), Chef McCaskey accepted the position of chef de cuisine and pastry chef at Black Locust, Wisconsin. With him at the helm, the restaurant was named one of the top three restaurants in the state by the Milwaukee Journal. Ryan returned to Chicago, working as chef de cuisine at Vivere and then at the acclaimed Rushmore. When Rushmore closed he staged at the four-star Trio under Grant Achatz and Tru under Rick Tramonto, as well as working at les Deux Gras, Rhapsody and Allen’s, and as executive chef at the Moroccan Tizi Melloul. He returned to Rushmore as executive chef when it reopened and, in 2007, he took the position of executive chef at the four-star Courtright’s. In 2011, McCaskey opened Acadia where he has since garnered accolades from both local and national sources. The most noteworthy have been a Michelin star after just nine months, followed by two Michelin stars in 2016, plus Five- Star ratings from AAA since 2013. Other awards include Best New Restaurant, Jean Banchet Awards; and semi-finalist nominations for Best Chef, Great Lakes by the James Beard Foundation.