TWELVE YEARS and
MORE GOOD NEWS

Over the past 12 years Boka Restaurant has become of Chicago most beloved restaurants. Chef Lee Wolen's seasonal American food is framed by Simeone Deary's timeless design located in the heart of Lincoln Park.

Chef/partner Lee Wolen garnered a Michelin Star in 2015, 3 stars and Chef of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, and Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year at the Jean Banchet Awards.

Boka originally opened in 2003, and was the first Boka Restaurant Group property for owners Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz. The restaurant became the foundation for the company: An alchemy of great design, warm hospitality, and amazing Chefs. The restaurants rich history includes a Food and Wine's Best New Chef for Giuseppe Tentori in 2008, and 5 consecutive Michelin Stars.

LEE WOLEN


EXECUTIVE CHEF/PARTNER

Lee Wolen joined Boka Restaurant as Executive Chef/Partner in January of 2014. After a chance meeting with Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm in the kitchen of Eleven Madison Park in 2011, the three continued a friendship over the years that has now led to this exciting new partnership.

Chef Lee Wolen, age 31, was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended a vocational culinary school during high school and quickly decided this would be his career. He worked as Sous Chef in Chicago at Moto and at Butter in 2005 and spent time at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and the famed El Bulli.

Chef Lee spent considerable time at Eleven Madison Park in New York, a three-Michelin-star restaurant, where he held the position of Sous Chef for three years. While Chef Lee was at Eleven Madison Park, the restaurant achieved The New York Times' coveted four stars, earned its Michelin stars and a Top Ten ranking in San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Lee Wolen joined The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago as Chef de Cuisine in May 2012. Since the new dinner menu debuted in the autumn of 2012, the dining critics have taken notice. Time Out Chicago awarded The Lobby with a perfect five star rating, the first in the eight years since Food Editor David Tamarkin joined the publication. Under Chef Wolen’s direction, The Lobby has also earned a coveted four star review from Chicago Magazine, and three stars from Phil Vettel of Chicago Tribune. Chef Wolen was named ‘Breakout Chef of the Year’ by Time Out Chicago, and was nominated by Food & Wine as a candidate for People’s Best New Chef, Great Lakes Region.

SOUS CHEFEddie Lee


Boka Restaurant Sous Chef, Eddie Lee, studied at University of California Santa Cruz, majoring in Business Management Economics before receiving his culinary certificate the from Institute of Culinary Education in New York. Eddie’s passion for cooking began the most natural way possible — hunger. In high school, he would be early on Sundays and didn’t want to wait for his parents to wake up and cook for him. He loved seeing his family’s reactions to his meals and once he began studying the culinary arts, he was amazed by all of the different techniques and flavor combinations that he could create.

Eddie began at Eleven Madison Park as an extern, before their Michelin Star and inclusion on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, and grew as the restaurant grew. He learned so much during his time there and met many inspiring people and friends, like Chef Lee Wolen. When Chef Wolen moved to Chicago to head The Lobby at The Peninsula he took Eddie with him and then again when he went to Boka Restaurant. Eddie is passionate about simple food that is perfectly executed and draws inspiration from wherever he can. When he’s not in the kitchen you can find him playing soccer or tennis.