Meet the Team

Meet The Team

Carrie Nahabedian

A native of Chicago’s northern suburbs, Chef Carrie Nahabedian began her career as a teenager, working in the kitchens of the Ritz Carlton. Her celebrated path has taken her from Le Perroquet, Jovan and Le Francais to LaTour at the Park Hyatt, and ultimately, a hard-earned title as Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotels in Chicago, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

With her invaluable education in hospitality, Chef Carrie and her restaurateur cousin, Michael Nahabedian, opened NAHA in November of 2000. Her Mediterranean-inspired American cuisine earned a Michelin Star for seven consecutive years, a James Beard Award for “Best Chef, Great Lakes”, and four stars by Phil Vettel—the highest rating given by the legendary Chicago Tribune critic.

In April of 2013, Carrie and Michael opened Brindille—French for “twig”—offering refined Parisian cuisine, a celebration of their love of French culinary traditions, techniques and flavors. Hailed as the “Best Restaurant to Open in 2013” by the Chicago Tribune, Brindille was later awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design, 2015” for the work of Tom Nahabedian and Bureau of Architecture and Design.

On September 22, 2009, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley named it “Carrie Nahabedian Day”, coinciding with her induction into the Chicago Chefs Hall of Fame, and in 2016, Chef Carrie was awarded the Jean Banchet Lifetime Achievement Award. On March 31, 2018, NAHA closed after eighteen years, just as Brindille celebrated its fifth anniversary on Clark Street. With the closing of her beloved NAHA comes the announcement of a new restaurant, further securing Chef Carrie’s place as not only a pioneer of the past, but an active participant in the future of hospitality.

Michael Nahabedian

Restaurateur and wine expert Michael Nahabedian, whose talent and style brought the likes of Green Dolphin Street and Café Absinthe to the forefront of Chicago’s Cocktail Culture, opened NAHA with his cousin, Chef Carrie Nahabedian, in 2000. After much success and acclaim, the duo opened Brindille in 2013, with a menu and atmosphere that reflects their love and great respect of the culinary traditions and true flavors of France.

Matt Jergens
Executive Chef

Modern. Classic. Lively. Executive Chef of The Gwen, Matt Jergens’ culinary philosophy is shaped by his Italian upbringing and early life in Iowa and Boston. After graduating from the Cambridge Culinary Arts School, Jergens spent five years at The Liberty Hotel before joining us at The Gwen.

Jenee Craver
Beverage Manager

The Gwen’s Beverage Manager, Jenee Craver, is driven by innovation and experimentation, from creating house-made bitters and tinctures to implementing barrel-aged cocktail programs. Born and raised in Ithaca, NY, Craver has a degree in Hospitality Management. Prior to joining the Gwen, Craver held multiple Head Bartending roles in Philadelphia where she spearheaded a craft spirits event and was a finalist in Glenfiddich’s “World’s Most Experimental Bartender” competition.

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