Rene De Leon’s passion for cooking has taken him on a worldwide journey that shaped him into the chef he is today. He brings a unique mixture of casual meets sophisticated cuisine to the Swift’s Attic team as executive chef.
The inspired culinary professional has 18 years of experience beginning with a degree from the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and resulting in a dynamic career with some of the world’s most iconic chefs. Right out of culinary school Rene moved to Boston to work with Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs Steve Rosen at Salts in Cambridge and Michael Leviton at Lumiere later. After a stint at Jean Roberts at Pigall’s in Cincinnati, De Leon arrived in Chicago in 2005. There he landed a position on the line at Moto, a restaurant known for its technological innovation and attention to detail.
In 2007, De Leon joined world-renowned Chef Grant Achatz at his Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea, contributing to a team that achieved Best Restaurant in America and was #6 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. During his time at Alinea, the restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars and the James Beard award for Best Service in America. After almost seven years at Alinea, he became a sous chef at Next restaurant which was awarded the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant during his time there.
During his travels, De Leon spent time in many award-winning kitchens, including the San Pellegrino #1 and #2 restaurants in the world, Noma in Copenhagen and El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, where he honed his culinary skills to become a leader in the industry in many forms. Most recently, De Leon worked with the Mina Group as corporate executive sous chef. While there, De Leon worked on many concepts, including the Four Seasons DIFC in Dubai and opening Stripsteak in Honolulu.