Throughout his 30-plus year career, John Hogan has cooked in Chicago’s most notable kitchens. But his love of food began as a child, watching his mother prepare dinner. In his teens and early 20s he would dine at Chicago’s finest French restaurants and recreate the meals at home. After graduating from Dumas Pere L’Ecole de la Cuisine Francaise, Hogan held posts at Everest, Le Perroquet, L’Escargot, and Park Avenue Café.
He gained city-wide recognition at Kiki’s Bistro and then national attention for Savarin, which earned a spot on Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Top 50 Restaurants” list, as well as “Best New Restaurant” in 1999 from Chicago Magazine, and “Best Restaurant” by Esquire. In 2001, Hogan joined Glenn Keefer at Keefer’s as executive chef, making Playboy’s “Top 10 Steakhouses” list and earning recognition from Food Network for Chicago’s best steak. Presently, Hogan is executive chef of Tony Mantuano’s River Roast.
Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.
Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.
In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com
Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.
Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”
As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.
Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.
During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.
Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.
Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.