Executive Chef Miguel Lopez
Chef Miguel Lopez has worked with Bottleneck Management for over ten years. He began his career as a dishwasher for South Branch Tavern and Grille and is now one of our most tenured Executive Chef’s at Bottleneck Management.
“Ten years ago, I would have never thought I would be at South Branch running the entire back of house. I am grateful Bottleneck Management showed me the skills to make it here and succeed,” said Chef Miguel.
Chef Miguel originally discovered Bottleneck through his neighbor, a chef at South Branch at the time.
“He inspired me to join the team and told me I would have the opportunity to grow within the company,” said Chef Miguel, and grow he did.
In less than a year, Chef Miguel was promoted to the expo line and later to Sous Chef where he helped open a new restaurant. In 2015, he transitioned back to South Branch, where he saw multiple growth opportunities and eventually became the Executive Chef for Old Town Pour House in Chicago and Old Town Pour House in Oak Brook.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Miguel was asked to return to South Branch as the Executive Chef. “His eyes lit up,” said Jordan Gibrick, Director of Operations for Bottleneck Management.
“This was a dream come true for me. It was a long-time goal for me to come back to South Branch as Executive Chef and one of my biggest accomplishments. It’s something I am very proud of,” Chef Miguel said.
Chef Miguel loves being in the kitchen, motivating his staff, and interacting with guests.
“One of my favorite things I get to do is create food specials. When a team member tells me a guest says, “Shout out to the Chef.” That motivates me to work even harder. Guest feedback is one of the things that inspires me the most and, the best compliment to receive is when a guest asks, “May I have the recipe,” said Chef Miguel.
When asked why he continues to stay with Bottleneck, he said, “I stay because of our staff and leaders. Everyone is very supportive, and the company values its employees. I love the team we have built, and they are truly like a second family to me.”
Chef Miguel offers a little bit of encouragement to anyone interested in working with Bottleneck Management, “Bottleneck is a great company, with great benefits and ownership that cares. They are always there, value our work and recognize our goals and achievements. It’s a great place to work, and there are multiple opportunities to grow.”
Visit Chef Miguel at South Branch Monday through Friday, and when he isn’t with his team at South Branch, you might find him cheering on the Chicago Bears or Chicago White Sox.
If you are interested in starting a career with Bottleneck Management, visit our website to apply.