Meet our Meals Program Manager, Kyle Petersen!

Kyle coordinates everything to do with our Meals Program at Inspiration Cafe. Kyle makes sure all runs smoothly and everything is taken care of.

Originally a volunteer in the Inspiration Café, Kyle was hired as the Meals Program Manager in July of 2017. He brings knowledge of 20 years working in the hospitality industry, ranging from Michelin Starred fine dining to critically acclaimed neighborhood restaurants. His goal is to produce and teach cuisine on a similar level to which he has worked throughout his career

Kyle Petersen started in the restaurant business at the age of 15, working at The Greenery Restaurant in Barrington, Illinois as a busboy. During these years he became interested in the kitchen, the cuisine, and was allowed an opportunity to start cooking. During this time, he enrolled at Kendall College located in Evanston, Illinois where he was able to receive a great deal of tutelage including an internship in Lyon, France under Maitre Cuisinier Daniel Judeaux.

Upon returning to Chicago he worked at restaurants such as Keefers Restaurant in River North, regarded as one of the top steakhouses in the city, The Outpost Restaurant, acclaimed by Bon Appetit as ‘One of the 50 Best Neighborhood Restaurants in the Country.’ There, after gradually moving up the ladder, an unexpected departure led to Kyle being named the Chef, which he stayed in the role for one year, all at 21 years old. To continue his journey, he moved on to X/O Chicago, a pioneering small plate restaurant which went on to receive Chicago Magazine’s ‘Top Twenty Best New Restaurants’ as well as 3 star reviews from both Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times.

Although proud of achievements, he wanted to learn more. He worked in many areas from upscale comfort food in a high volume setting at Rockit Bar & Grill, to the high end fine dining with an emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal product and exacting technique at Naha, one of Chicago’s best known restaurants, led by Chef Carrie Nahabedian.  He was able to take these skills and assist in the opening of Ceres Table in Uptown, learning the Sicilian influenced cuisine of Chef  Giuseppe Scurato. After 4 years spent there, Kyle was approached with the opportunity to be the Chef at Fulton Market Kitchen, a high profile restaurant opening in the influential Fulton Market District. There he was allowed control of menu creation, which was featured on local TV, in Chicago Magazine and various other publications. He also took part in Baconfest and Restaurant Week First Bites Bash among others.

Throughout these experiences he has been committed to hard work and always giving 100%. He continues to enjoy doing it for the Inspiration Café.