Executive Chef Andrew Zimmerman announced the appointment of Erin Kobler as the new pastry chef at 12-time Michelin-starred Sepia and Bib Gourmand PROXI in Chicago’s West Loop. Kobler brings years of fine dining service and pastry excellence to two staples of the Chicago culinary scene.
“I’m so excited to work with Chef Zimmerman because he’s a walking encyclopedia of food,” says Kobler. “I think I compliment the teams as we love to mix classic and familiar; our dishes will leave you nostalgic.”
Kobler comes from a hospitality family and has always been drawn to pastry. As one of six children, her father once owned a small restaurant in Mt. Prospect. She credits her parents as two of the most hospitable people in the world that fostered her development because, “no matter how many mistakes I made or how badly I burnt something, my dad would always tell me, “that’s extra flavor,” Kobler remarks.
She first knew she wanted to work in pastry when she saw shows like “Ace of Cakes” on television, but found there was so much more to her craft. She took her interests to Kendall College and earned her bachelor's degree in Culinary Entrepreneurship with an associates in Baking and Pastry.
After Kendall, she spent five years working for Boka Restaurant Group with a majority of that time spent at Bellemore. She started as a cook, then became pastry sous chef and then she followed her training to run Bellemore’s pastry program by the end of a three-year period. Under Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos’ wing at Bellemore, she grew into herself as a pastry chef. Bellemore allowed Kobler her first foray into fine dining and extensive tasting menus. She was able to develop her style, discover how to lead her teams and stylistically transform into the chef she is today. She now gets to collaborate alongside Executive Chef Andrew Zimmerman and Chef de Cuisines Amelia Sewall and Kyle Cottle.
“I have the opportunity to do my own thing, have my own menu and my own style, but I get to collaborate on a fun, cohesive meal with incredibly talented chefs from start to finish,” says Kobler.
When it comes to dessert, her favorite thing to make and eat is ice cream, which is right up the creative alleys of Sepia and PROXI. She finds it to be a fun way to incorporate and surprise with flavors. Her goal is to have guests leave the restaurant awestruck with the inventiveness of Sepia and PROXI’s robust and worldly menus.
In her off time, Kobler can be found exploring local coffee shops and biking along the Chicago lakefront.
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