Amber Lancaster

Head Chef

A Tucson native, Lancaster initially pursued a political science degree at the University of Arizona to prepare for law school. After her aunt helped her realize her dream of cooking, she nixed the courthouse for the kitchen and enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Scottsdale. Hoping to study under some of the best chefs in the world, Lancaster packed up her knives and relocated to France where she completed the most comprehensive training available at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and earned her Le Grande Diplôme in 2008.

Lancaster continued to hone her craft abroad where she worked as a private chef in Paris and held positions at the Michelin-rated French dining destination, Restaurant Guy Savoy, and the historic luxury hotel, Hôtel de Crillon. During this time, Lancaster read Chef Grant Achatz’s cookbook, Alinea, and set her sights on Chicago. In 2011, she relocated to the Windy City and trained in molecular gastronomy for a year under the acclaimed chef at his Michelin-rated restaurant, Alinea. 

Following her departure from Alinea, Lancaster worked as a private executive chef and enrolled in Loyola University Chicago to pursue her BA in French & Communications. After another stint overseas to partake in the university’s study abroad program, John Felice Rome Center in Italy, Lancaster completed her studies in Chicago and became the executive resident chef at Sur La Table in 2016, and later a private chef. Yearning to be back in a kitchen surrounded by others passionate about food, Lancaster landed her roll with Kimpton, and at Sable’s helm, Lancaster creates Contemporary American small plates inspired by her travels and culinary icon, Julia Child.  Now, Lancaster has taken on the massive project at Second City where she will oversee three restaurants, banquets and catering as well as the theatre food. 

Lancaster has been recognized as one of the “25 Women to Watch” by Hotel F&B Magazine, “9 Chefs to Know in Chicago” by and “Chef of the Month” by Chef Works. She has competed on three episodes of “Guy’s Grocery Games” on Food Network and guest judged, and competed in, the prestigious Cochon555 Chicago chef competition. Also, she has most recently competed in an entire series that is due to air in 2020. Her most recent position was Head Chef at Soho House and she is now consulting and working with a tech start up company on an app designed for Chefs, called Rekki. 

When the chef coat is off, Lancaster can be found indulging her inner foodie at different restaurants throughout the city, taking her dogs to the dog beach, reading and rolling out her yoga mat.