Vol 39

About Our Team at Vol. 39 in Chicago

Nick

Nick Sutton, Executive Chef

Growing up in Massachusetts, Nick Sutton learned to cook as a child, laying the foundation for his education at a culinary-focused high school from an early age. He moved to New York after high school and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. Returning to the Boston area after culinary school, he worked on the lines of several different restaurants, but kept his sights set on a city with a more highly developed culinary scene. Sutton moved from Boston to Chicago where he first staged at Charlie Trotter’s restaurant and then at Tru (James Beard Award for Outstanding Service, 2007). In his two years at Tru beginning in 2003, the time spent apprenticing under Chef Rick Tramonto (James Beard Award for Best Chef: Midwest, 2002) turned Sutton toward fine-dining and, after just eight months, he was promoted to Sous Chef. In 2005, Sutton transitioned to a role as Executive Chef of Chicago’s iconic Pump Room restaurant, a position he held for five years. Since 2010, he’s honed his high-volume dining operations skill set as Executive Sous Chef at Chicago's Sheraton Hotel and Towers and then as Executive Chef at Food for Thought’s large-scale special events catering arm. Now, as Executive Chef of Boleo and Vol. 39, respectively, Nick Sutton draws on his experience at fine-dining kitchens to create eclectic menus for the two different concepts. At Boleo, his take on Argentinian and Peruvian street fare will draw heavily on the fresh herbs, chiles, and spices that are characteristic of South American cuisine. With Vol. 39, Sutton spins Old World-inspired small plates, including charcuterie, artisan cheeses, caviar and crudos to showcase the attention-to-detail he has spent his career refining. When he’s not at work, Nick plays golf, brews his own beer, and, most importantly, makes the most of his time with his wife and kids.

Jess

Jess Lambert, Head Bartender

Jess Lambert jumpstarted her career bartending at Blue Hound Kitchen in downtown Phoenix, apprenticing under acclaimed Bartenders and Mixologists, Tyson Buhler (Death + Company, United States Bartender's Guild Best Bartender Winner 2015) and Shel Bourdon (The Dead Rabbit, Last Slinger Standing Ultimate Shake Off Competition Winner). While in Phoenix, she crossed paths with bartender Mike Ryan (Sable Kitchen & Bar, Jean Banchet Award nominee for Best Mixologist, Cocktail Apprentice Program Leader of Tales of the Cocktail) who now serves as the Director of Bars for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. She credits Mike as the driving force behind her ascension into the craft cocktail realm, following his advice to secure a spot in the prestigious international Cocktail Apprentice Program of Tales of the Cocktail in 2014 before graduating to Grey Coat leader the following year.

Jess eventually made her big-city move to Chicago, where she landed at cocktail destination The Dawson. She ventured into more complex cocktails under the guidance of Clint Rogers (Graham Elliot, The Gage) before joining Sable Kitchen & Bar in early 2015. She was instrumental in contributing to Sable’s bar program that has garnered 12 Tales of the Cocktail nominations and numerous “Best Bar” accolades from publications including Esquire, USA Today and Food & Wine. Her personal honors include a StarChef’s Chicago Rising Star nomination and first runner up placement in the International Sherry Competition 2015. She has been recognized by Star Chefs as one of the Rising Stars of Chicago for her modern, and savory Tiki cocktails, and her inspired cocktail recipes have graced the pages of Vogue, Liquor.com, Food & Wine, Yahoo.com and Chilled magazine. Now in 2016, Jess makes the leap to Head Bartender of Boleo and Vol. 39, where she will take a culinary approach to the cocktail programs, aiming to enhance a familiar sensory experience within each unique creation.

Lauren

Lauren Parton, Sommelier

Chicago native Lauren Parton jumpstarted her career on the culinary side of the food and beverage realm, working as a line cook in the renowned kitchens of La Tache and The Signature Room. Eager to pursue further teachings, Lauren then began the certification process for becoming a Sommelier in 2009. She then joined the opening bar team at award winning Drumbar, working as a bartender alongside famed bartender Benjamin Newby, where she developed a passion for fusing the worlds of food and beverage to create innovative drinkable and edible cocktails. From there, Lauren was instrumental in leading the award-winning beverage programs at the W Hotel and Loews Chicago. Described as the “Greatest Mixologist in the World” by Emmy-award winning daytime television host, Steve Harvey, Lauren soon after coined the term “Libationist,” a tongue in cheek play on made up words used to describe molecular bartending. Now, as Sommelier of Vol. 39, Lauren looks forward to bringing non-mainstream wines to the forefront of the sophisticated lobby bar’s expansive wine program in her efforts to make lesser known varieties easy to understand and digest. When she’s not behind the bar, Lauren enjoys tooling around her patio garden, traveling, and hanging out with her husband John and their dog, CK Dexter Haven.