Born and raised in Chicago, Chef Mello Gerard grew up in one of the top culinary destinations in the world. As a chef, mixologist, and hospitality specialist, Gerard draws on pivotal moments from childhood and special celebrations and attributes them to his passion for food. He recalls his earliest and fondest memories were centered around family and food. Specifically, the excitement of the cooking during the holiday season when the family would make gumbo together. It was from his father that he learned the meticulous and methodical way to create that special gumbo.
Owning a nightclub for three decades has given Gerard an understanding of the importance of hospitality at a top-notch level. As a chef, Gerard is known for his Soul Fusion culinary style, which is inspired by his Southern heritage intermixed with international influences. He creates his food to transport your tastebuds with each bite. He uses a wide variety of herbs and spices as signatures in most of his dishes so that they can be rich in taste. He effortlessly juxtaposes flavors, mixing sweet, savory and spicy to create layers to the flavors in his recipes. Destinations such as the Caribbean, India, France, Thailand, and Vietnam are a source of culinary inspiration. Think classic dishes with a unique twist: Pan Seared Halibut with Roasted Golden Beets; Fennel and Potatoes; Seared Duck Breast; Sherry Drenched Maitake Mushrooms, and Blue Agave Sautéed Red Chard; Tarragon Seared Scallops and Asiago Cheddar Rice Cakes.
When it comes to libations, Gerard aims to elevate the traditional experience, by optimizing food and beverage pairing. He applies a fusion approach to his mixology and takes care to balance the flavor profile of his signature cocktails. His Bulleit Blue Agave Old Fashioned with a Ruby Red Grapefruit Twist and Bordeaux Cherries is a delicious example.
With Chef Mello, you can expect him to elevate and step the level higher—pleasing the world one plate at a time.