Executive Chef, South Congress Hotel
With over 20 years of experience, Chef Duque's impressive culinary career spans across Chicago, Paris and New York. Chef Duque worked with Sandro Gamba of NoMI in the Park Hyatt and later became the Chef de Cuisine at the Union League Club of Chicago. The Union League Club has the designation of the number two private club in the United States. In the Summer of 2007, Chef Duque conceived and opened Sepia restaurant with partner Emmanuel Nony. The restaurant opened to critical acclaim, including Best New Chef (Chicago Magazine ‘08); Best New Restaurant (Time Out Magazine ’08); James Beard Semi-Finalist Great Lakes Region ( 2 years in a row ’08, ’09); Gayot’s Guide Ten Best New Restaurants in the U.S. (’08); and more. Duque went on to open Chicago Firehouse, American Junkie, and The Brass Monkey.
In 2014 Chef Duque transitioned to Executive Chef of the Glenview Private Country Club, where he managed 12 outlets. Chef Duque comes from multiple kitchens with modesty and hard work, but all filled with team spirit and joy. He now helms as Executive Chef of South Congress Hotel.
Corporate Pastry Chef, New Waterloo
Amanda Rockman’s interest in the culinary field began at an early age. Growing up in Katy, Texas, she was inspired by the dinner parties her mom would throw for friends.
Rockman went on to attend The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where she received her A.O.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts and completed an internship under Emily Luchetti at Farallon in San Francisco. Her career then took her to Chicago, where she worked at the acclaimed TRU, Spring, three Michelin-starred L.2o, and The Peninsula Hotel. Rockman also opened The Bristol, Balena and Thompson Hotel’s Nico Osteria as Executive Pastry Chef.
Having previously worked in Austin as Executive Pastry Chef at Fino and Asti, Rockman returned to Texas in 2015 as Executive Pastry Chef at South Congress Hotel, where she oversaw the pastry and bakery programs for in-room dining, banquets, and the hotel’s four food & beverage outlets: Café No Sé, Central Standard, Mañana Coffee, Juice & Bakeshop, and the Stephen F. Frostin’ ice cream truck. In 2017 Amanda was promoted to Corporate Executive Pastry Chef of all New Waterloo entities, where she oversaw all pastry operations at all New Waterloo properties.
Rockman was named a James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist in 2015, received the Jean Banchet Pastry Chef of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012, and was named Chicago Tribune’s Pastry Chef of the Year in 2012. She has appeared on Beat Bobby Flay, Top Chef Just Desserts, Hungry Hound, The Better Show, and Windy City Live.