Executive Chef Greg Biggers
Chef Biggers hails from Alabama, where he grew up watching his mother prepare Chicken and Dumplins', a Saturday favorite. While attending Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, Biggers worked at Blossom Café as a Pastry Cook, learning the art of baked breads and pastries. Later, he served as Private Dining Chef and then Sous Chef at McCrady’s, an inventive, farm-driven Charleston restaurant.
At Chicago's 4-star restaurant, TRU, Biggers held the role of Chef de Partie under James Beard award-winning Chef Rick Tramonto, and then served as Executive Sous Chef at Morimoto in Philadelphia, developing his craftsmanship with seafood. Next, he rejoined Chef Tramonto as the Executive Chef of two 3-star restaurants, Tramonto's Steak & Seafood and RT Lounge, before joining the team at Levy Restaurants' Fulton's on the River. In January of 2011, Chef Biggers came to Sofitel Chicago Water Tower to oversee all aspects of the hotel’s dining operations, including its restaurant, Café des Architectes.
Chef Biggers strives to build relationships with true artisans of the craft from all over the world. Biggers sources the best quality product available - from exotic fish flown in from Japan to game from Michigan’s Swan Creek Farm and small batch cheeses from France's best creameries. He is proud to lead his team with a philosophy of incorporating both local and global inspirations.
Executive Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky
In 2010 Leigh Omilinsky joined Sofitel Chicago Water Tower as assistant pastry chef. Promoted to Executive Pastry Chef in 2012, she now oversees the hotel’s entire pastry program including private dining, amenities and the plated desserts at Café des Architectes and Le Bar. Here, she collaborates with Executive Chef Greg Biggers, creating contemporary French cuisine influenced by local flavor. With her career on the fast track, Omilinsky was awarded the Jean Banchet award for Rising Pastry Chef in 2013.
An enthusiast of the slow food movement, Omilinsky values the true nature of seasonal ingredients and incorporates this philosophy in her baking. Omilinsky’s acclaimed dishes, which change seasonally, range from classic French renditions to avant garde creations. In addition to collaborating on Café des Architectes’ Five and Ten-Course Degustation menus, Omilinsky has created the restaurant’s Dessert Degustation, consisting of mini tastings of her top confections.
Growing up in Chicago’s north suburbs, Omilinsky spent her teenage years working at bakeries and watching Julia Child and Jacques Pepin on television, preparing for a career in the pastry arts. In 2002 she moved to Denver, Colorado to attend Johnson & Wales University, earning a double degree in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management. In 2006 she ventured back to Chicago, where she went to work for James Beard award winning chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand; first at Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood as the lead pastry cook and then at 4 star TRU restaurant as pastry tournant. Enamored with the fine dining environment, Omilinsky moved on to Michelin-rated L2O restaurant in 2009, working under celebrated chef Laurent Gras. In 2010 she joined Sofitel Luxury Hotels, where she continues to grow her exciting career and perfect her craft in the pastry arts.