People

Curtis Duffy

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Curtis Duffy knew at a young age that he had a passion for cooking.

After completing culinary school, he relocated to Chicago to pursue a career in fine dining at the esteemed Charlie Trotter’s.

Duffy spent three years at Charlie Trotter’s before leaving to work at Trio, where he met Chef Grant Achatz; A few years later both chefs left to open Alinea. Duffy later took his skill set to Avenues, where he garnered many accolades including Two Michelin Stars.

In mid-2011, he left Avenues to begin working on his own restaurant, Grace, which opened in late 2012. At Grace, Duffy’s culinary style — elegant, graceful cuisine — is showcased. He puts ingredients at the forefront and draws on his wealth of experience in a way that employs technique to enhance flavor.

Since opening Grace on December 11, 2012, Duffy and the restaurant have been awarded many accolades, including Three Michelin Stars in the Chicago 2015 Guide, AAA’s Five Diamond Rating, Forbes Travel Guide’s 5 Star Rating, Robb Report’s Best Restaurant in the World 2013, Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurant, and Eater National’s Chef of the Year.

Michael Muser

Originally from Chicago, Michael Muser moved to California at a young age.

While studying at California State University-Chico, Muser worked in restaurants to support himself and took the opportunity to learn more about wine.

After graduation, he devoted his life to enology. He took a hands-on approach to his studies and spent time traveling throughout Europe.

There he worked harvest in Burgundy and Champagne, learning first-hand the winemaking process before coming to Chicago to join The Peninsula Chicago, as Wine Director and Sommelier.

He built the beverage lists for the hotel’s three restaurants, its bar, and for all catering functions and private events.

At Avenues, Muser met Chef Curtis Duffy, and in 2011 the two began plans to open Grace.

Since opening Grace on December 11, 2012, Muser and the restaurant have been awarded many accolades, including Three Michelin Stars in the Chicago 2015 Guide, AAA’s Five Diamond Rating, Forbes Travel Guide’s 5 Star Rating, Robb Report’s Best Restaurant in the World 2013, Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurant, and one of Food and Wine’s 2014 Sommeliers of the Year.