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Chef Curtis Duffy & Team

Chef Curtis Duffy and Michael Muser have combined their talents and ambition to bring Ever to Chicago. 

After meeting at Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel Chicago, which earned two Michelin stars under Chef Duffy, the pair built Grace. At Grace, Duffy and Muser were honored with two Michelin stars their first year and three stars the next four years, from 2015 to 2018. 

Now, they return as co-owners and the creative forces behind Ever. 

Ever earned two stars in the 2022 Michelin Guide.  

“We will never ever stop striving for the ultimate experience, no matter how many hours of the day that takes, no matter the sacrifices required.” — Chef Duffy

“We believe Chicago long ago earned its place on the global stage as an extraordinary dining destination. It deserves another restaurant it can boast about around the world.” — Michael Muser

a person standing posing for the camera

Curtis Duffy

Chef and Owner

Curtis Duffy is a world-renowned, Michelin-starred chef, and his Chicago restaurant Ever is his creative obsession.

Duffy has won numerous accolades. Ever was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2022 Guide. His previous restaurant, Grace, earned three Michelin stars for four years in a row, from 2015 to 2018. And before that, Duffy earned two Michelin stars at Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel Chicago. He opened After cocktail lounge and The Canvas by Ever in 2022.

He has been awarded Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star rating, AAA’s Five-Diamond rating, and the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Great Lakes Award in 2016.  

In the 2016 documentary “For Grace,” filmmakers chronicle the creation of Duffy’s former restaurant and tell the riveting story of how the chef’s turbulent past shaped the person he is today.  

Duffy sits on the advisory board of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, where a $25,000 scholarship in his name is awarded. Duffy’s charitable efforts have included volunteering and serving as chef chair for the Grand Chefs Gala, a fundraiser for the Greater Illinois Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Duffy’s culinary and philanthropic efforts led to his induction into the prestigious Disciples d’Escoffier International. 

a man wearing a suit and tie

Michael Muser

Director of Operations and Owner

Michael Muser is a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry and an accomplished sommelier. Food and Wine Magazine named him a Sommelier of the Year in 2014, and Muser has worked side-by-side with Chef Curtis Duffy since 2009. 

Muser and Chef Duffy opened Ever in 2020, and Ever earned two Michelin stars in the 2022 Guide. They opened After cocktail lounge and The Canvas by Ever in 2022. Their previous two restaurants, Avenues and Grace, earned two and three Michelin stars, respectively.  

Muser’s attention to detail is relentless and exacting. His motto: “This is not what you do. This is a representation of who you are.” His past restaurants have earned numerous accolades, including Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star rating and AAA’s Five-Diamond rating, as well as the Michelin stars. 

Muser emcees Chicago's annual Jean Banchet Awards and has lent his support and talents to the Grand Chef’s Gala, both of which have benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Greater Illinois. 

In the 2016 documentary “For Grace,” filmmakers chronicle the creation of Chef Duffy’s former restaurant with Muser, including his role in its journey from a concrete box to opening night.  

Amy Cordell

Director of Hospitality

Amy Cordell has worked with Chef Duffy and Michael Muser for more than 13 years, starting as a captain at Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel Chicago. She followed Duffy and Muser to three-Michelin-starred Grace, where she was captain and floor manager, and she has now joined them again at Ever. Before Avenues, Cordell was a captain at two-Michelin-starred Charlie Trotter’s.

Justin Selk

Chef de Cuisine

Before joining Ever, Justin Selk was executive sous chef at three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. Before that, he worked under Chef Duffy as sous chef at three-Michelin-starred Grace from August 2013 until it closed in December 2017. Prior to that, he was chef de partie at three-Michelin-starred Alinea.

Lucas Trahan

Pastry Chef

Before joining Chef Duffy at Ever, Lucas Trahan was pastry chef at Entente and opened Pacific Standard Time as its pastry sous chef. Trahan attended the Art Institute of Dallas and moved from Dallas to Chicago to join Duffy's team at Grace. He worked at three-Michelin-starred Grace from 2015-2017. Trahan was named a Rising Star Pastry Chef in 2021 by StarChefs.