Executive Chef Evan Percoco
Chef Evan’s expressive style and agile talents shine across the various offerings at theWit. Ever the consummate host, Chef Evan blends his love for people and entertaining with his passion for delivering incredible dishes with artistic flair. This magnetism has landed Chef Evan many local and national television appearances including ABC’S Windy City Live, WGN’s Healthy Living, Chicago’s Best and CBS’s Chef on a Shoestring with Chris Wragge.
Chef Evan discovered his love for the culinary arts at a young age. As a boy growing up in Long Island, Evan enjoyed summers fishing and foraging for mushrooms with his grandfather. In his teen years, he wrangled a job at a local Italian restaurant and learned to cook with these fresh, local foods and ingredients. This was where Chef Evan found his calling and was soon accepted into the Culinary Arts Institute. He graduated and landed his first professional position at the esteemed, fine dining restaurant Nicholas at the Mayflower hotel in Washington D.C., where he was quickly promoted to the Chef de Cuisine.
From there, Chef Evan was personally selected by Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Faisel to work at the consul’s estate, then moved to a stint as Executive Chef of L’Enfant Plaza Hotel and participated in a culinary exchange program in Italy. These positions all brought global inspiration and multicultural influences to his repertoire.
Another culturally and colorful experience followed in 2000, when Chef Evan was appointed Executive Chef of the AAA Four Diamond Hard Rock Hotel Orlando for five years, where he performed at The Kitchen, teaching musical artists such as Joan Jett, Sammy Hagar and Dee Snyder how to cook their favorite dishes in front of a live audience. He was named Top 20 Chefs in Orlando for four consecutive years.
In 2008, Chef Evan moved to the east coast to open BOKX109 American Prime, a modern American steakhouse outside of Boston to much aplomb, appearing regularly on TV Diner with Billy Costa and winning an array of awards including “Best New Restaurant” and “Best of Boston” from Boston magazine as well as being featured at the James Beard House, before moving to Chicago.
As the Executive Chef of theWit Hotel in Chicago, Evan creatively pushes culinary boundaries to deliver on the brand mantra of “more experience than hotel,” and draws much of his inspiration from his adventurous two-year old muse, Stella Francesca.
Executive Pastry Chef Toni Roberts
Chicago’s sweetheart reigns in the pastry kitchen of theWit hotel creating witty, infectious confections for guests at ROOF, State and Lake Chicago Tavern, Weddings and Spa@theWit. Her reverence for Valhrona chocolate is evident in her delicate black bottom chocolate mousse. The lemon marshmallow cake, light beignets, custom macarons and chocolate churros made with Patron XO are all house favorites.
As gentle and elegant as the sweets she creates, Chef Toni is widely appreciated by guests and peers, alike. Chef Toni had her dessert selected by TimeOut Chicago as one of the “100 Best We Ate This Year” in 2008, received a Jean Blanchet Award for Culinary Excellence for Rising Star Pastry Chef in 2009, won the Best Dessert Menu 2009 award by Pastryscoop.com was named one of the “Top 30 under 30” by Zagat in 2012. She also had the privilege to assist Chef Marcus Samuelsson at the White House during his Guest Chef appearance for the Obama Administration’s first State Dinner.
Mark Brand, Banquet Chef
Chef Mark Brand was born on the south side of Chicago and raised in Munster, Indiana. His mother’s passion for cooking inspired him and upon her passing in 2002, Chef Mark decided to attend the Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, a Le Cordon Bleu Program. After testing the waters in several small restaurants he was offered a position at the prestigious Four Seasons Chicago. Hungry for knowledge and ambition to earn his title as “chef,” Mark caught the eye of Executive Chef Jonathon Lane. Chef Jonathon Lane became a mentor to him and helped Mark move quickly from prep cook to Chef De Partie. After six years of banquet experience at the Four Seasons, Chef Mark was ready for a new chapter in his culinary career. In 2010 Chef Mark joined theWit Hotel’s culinary team as their sole banquet chef. Excited to expand his creativity at the cutting edge boutique-style hotel, he has the pleasure of producing meals for weddings, intimate corporate breakfasts, galas and high-profile events for the NFL, Virgin America, Pandora and BMW.