Chef de Cuisine Bill Montagne
Growing up in a family of chefs made Bill Montagne's passion for cooking inevitable. His love of the kitchen began at an early age where he often found himself cooking for family gatherings alongside relatives who had honed their skills in restaurants like the famed Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Early exposure to flavors, technique and passion for food led Montagne to various restaurant jobs throughout high school and ultimately to the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, where he graduated in 2004.
Upon graduation, Montagne moved to Chicago where he began his professional career at high-end restaurants such as Les Nomades and NoMi. He then moved to New York to further hone his craft where he was named sous chef at the three-star Michelin, Relais & Châteaux, Le Bernardin, where he spent four years working under the tutelage of world-renowned chef Eric Ripert. Returning to Chicago, Montagne joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as Corporate Chef for their fine dining division. In February 2016, Montagne broke out on his own and opened the casual seafood restaurant, Snaggletooth, bringing straightforward and approachable seafood back to Chicago’s dining scene.
In May 2017, Montagne joined One Off Hospitality Group’s rustic Italian seafood concept, Nico Osteria, as Chef de Cuisine. With an extensive background in seafood and a passion for Italian cuisine, Montagne will preserve Nico Osteria’s emphasis on coastal Italian seafood and fresh, house made pastas. Montagne’s diverse restaurant experience brings a refined yet approachable cooking style to the kitchen where he will work in collaboration with Executive Chef Paul Kahan to put his signature stamp on the menu with a focus on quality and seasonality.
Throughout his career, Montagne has earned national recognition including Zagat’s annual 30 Under 30 honor (2012) and was named an Eater Young Gun awards finalist (2012). In 2017, Montagne and Snaggletooth were nominated for two Jean Banchet Awards and he was named Rising Chef of the Year. Since joining Nico Osteria in 2017, Montagne has utilized his expertise in seafood to create delicious riffs on classic coastal Italian dishes, earning him a consecutive Jean Banchet Award, this time for Best Chef de Cuisine of 2018.