Eric Babula

Regional Chef

Eric started as a Sous Chef at Old Town Pour House, Oak Brook in May 2014.  He was promoted to Executive Chef of Old Town Pour House, Chicago by November of that year.  Almost a year later, he was promoted again to Director of Kitchen Operations for the brand in August, 2015.  He is very excited to be part of the team and very, very excited to see the future.

History

Before Bottleneck, Eric spent almost a year at the Waldorf Astoria in downtown Chicago as a Sous Chef before he realized that the hotel business wasn’t for him.  Prior to the hotel, he was the Executive Chef for a group of family-owned sports bar & grills across the north side.  He was able to design his own menus, specials, and really elevate the food focus.  Before that, he spent some time as a front-of-house manager at an Austrian coffee/tea restaurant.  In his younger years, he bounced around as a line cook from high-end dining, to Mediterranean, healthy eats, pizza, sandwiches, sushi, Indian, western Chinese and everything in between.  

Outside of Work

Eric "has been married to his beautiful wife since May of 2009."  He loves music, comedy, gardening, bike riding, BEER, and most importantly, COOKING.  He may be the only person he knows that can spend 12-15 hours a day in a kitchen and still want to go home to cook a simple dinner.  He loves entertaining.  He hosts “Friendsgiving" and Christmas dinner at his house every year and puts out a ridiculous spread.  He's also gotten into home improvement since becoming a home-owner..he's painting, handling electrical work, etc.

Favorite Meal

It’s a common question amongst chefs and cooks: “What would be your last meal?”  His answer is, “Don’t care, as long as I get to cook it.”  People love to ask him, “What’s your favorite thing to cook?” He always answers, “The thing I haven’t cooked yet.”