Michigan Avenue Magazine

The Culinarian - World-class personal chef Charles Webb

From Concept to Conclusion

“I’ve had 88 jobs in my life,” says Charles Webb. The skilled chef and founder of Avanti Gourmet Catering, who first learned to cook at the age of 8, has cooked for everyone from a Lebanese arms dealer in the south of France to young professionals in Lincoln Park; in 2014 alone, Webb expects to cook in 15 different countries, but he’s proud to call Chicago home. “We’re the best food city in America now.”

Eat healthier: A Mediterranean diet rules. Eating fresh, organic, raw is always a good start. Have fish a few times a week, and make fish filets exciting by getting spices. Spices can be so much fun to play with, are easy, and really transform that chicken breast from “okay” to “out of this world.”
Roman holiday: I’m doing a pop-up in Rome with Latin and Asian food—I can’t go in and compete against the Italian nonna who’s been making pasta five days a week, 40 years of her life!
Favorite tool: My zester is one, a whisk is fast becoming a close second, and my truffle shaver is becoming a tie for close second.
For a fresh start: It starts with discipline: Watch what you eat, how you eat, and the quantity of food. Try to get nuts in there ’cause they are a great source of energy.
Surprise, surprise: Who would have thought that a 100-person wedding was going to get shaved black summer truffles on their gnocchi? I went through and shaved them tableside for everyone, and people were blown away.
Proudest achievement: Having the ability to take on my mother’s responsibilities and guide her in her latter years. 312-860-2188