Carrie Nahabedian is a chef's chef. In the sometimes political culinary landscape, Chef Nahabedian is appreciated by all Chicago chefs, no matter what their focus, and her career has been long and illustrious to back up her popularity.
At a time when there were few, if no, female chefs in kitchens, Chef Nahabedian was the first female chef at Le Francais in the 80s. In 1989, she was named sous chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, and then became executive chef before moving with the hotel chain to the Four Seasons Biltmore in Beverly Hills.
After eight years in California, Nahabedian returned to Chicago to open her restaurant NAHA, and the rest, as they say, is history. In 2008, Chef won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Great Lakes region. Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley named September 22, 2009 in honor of Nahabedian, the same day that she was inducted into the Chicago Culinary Museum's Chefs Hall of Fame. Naha has been acknowledged with a Michelin star for four years, and in 2012, NAHA was given four AAA Motor Club diamonds.
In 2013 Chef opened Brindille, a small 50 person restaurant focused on true French cuisine, and named by the Chicago Tribune Dining Awards as one of the best restaurants in 2013. As is evident in the video below, no detail has been left out in décor, in table settings or in the complexity of the food at Brindille.
Attention to every last accent is one of Chef Nahabedian's signature traits, as is generosity. For example, when asked why she opened Brindille, Nahabedian explained that she wanted to give her employees something more to aspire to and work on in order to grow in the industry. She also added, "and I wanted to bring back pure French food and service."
Chef Nahabedian will be the guest chef on the March 31 Dinner Party and will cook for friend and colleague, Rick Bayless, New Yorker cartoonist, Pat Byrnes, author of the V. I. Warshowski crime series, Sara Paretsky and everyone in the audience. Enjoy her video below making Chestnut and Scotch Cream Soup.