Chef Rusty Kook Joins Team at Chicago Cut Steakhouse
Enriched with culinary passion and creativity, Russell Kook has earned his spot on popular reality cooking shows and has no plans of slowing down. Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, he graduated from Madison Area Technical College with a degree in finance and found himself dissatisfied with the business, making a bold move into the booming culinary industry. Attending the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, Kook finessed his cooking techniques at local bistro, Savories, where his prosperous culinary journey began.
Kook, eager to learn from the best, accepted an externship at the Ritz Carlton’s four-star restaurant, Verona, in Sarasota, Florida, to further develop his cooking style. His experience thus-far inspired him to open a small bistro, Café Maude, upon returning to Minneapolis.
Kook was presented with an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, and accepted a position in 2007 as a cook under rising-star Chef Todd Stein, who later became one of Kook’s greatest culinary influences. Kook and Stein’s partnership led them to work alongside each other at David Burke in Las Vegas, as well as Cibo Matto and The Roof at the Wit Hotel in Chicago, where Kook worked as sous chef. Meanwhile, Kook was at the Beard House where he cooked there on many occasions and battled on season 10 of hit TV show Iron Chef America.
Presented with an opportunity to test his skills and become the strong competitor he is today, Kook competed on popular reality television show, Hell’s Kitchen, where he was awarded a perfect score from Michelin Star Award Winning Chefs and Judges. After earning the title as runner up on season 8, Kook returned to Chicago to open the Florentine at JW Marriott.
Kook yearned to work in a new environment and left the Florentine to work at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, where he adapted his cooking to match the fast-paced and high volume kitchen. In 2012, Kook left the restaurant to explore the culinary scene in the south, working in Atlanta for the group Concentrics Restaurants and serving as executive chef for LPC, Two Urban Licks, as well as assisting in the opening of 8UP in Louisville.
Kook returned to Chicago Cut Steakhouse in August 2015, where he took the positon of executive chef. Driven to create an individual experience for guests, Kook focuses on utilizing fresh, local ingredients to prepare the highest quality dishes that are unparalleled in flavor. Kook enjoys spending time with local farmers to find the best high-end ingredients and plans to continue to push the food to the forefront of steakhouse cuisine.
Kook resides in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, where he enjoys spending time with his fiancée, reading cookbooks and exploring the city’s thriving culinary scene.