Meet Chef Ian
Chef de Cuisine Ian Schlegel brings to Che Figata expertise in Italian cooking, along with deep roots in the local community and an honest love for food that is carried through in his cooking.
Certified in professional Italian cuisine by the International Academy of Italian Cuisine Lucca – a smally city in the Tuscany region of Central Italy located between Pisa and Florence – and with degree in culinary arts earned at the College of DuPage, this DuPage County native studied and cooked under the direction of two of Italy’s four recognized Master Chefs. He brings more than a decade of experience in culinary leadership to Che Figata, including working at the 5-star luxury Montecantini Palace & Spa in Montecantini Terme, Tuscany, and at the 4.5-star boutique Hotel Teatro in Denver.
His love for cooking is home grown, making classic Slovak dishes such as Droby, a Slovakian potato sausage, with his family since he was “old enough to peel potatoes”. His career path became clear in a high school cooking class when he began adding his own touch to the assigned recipes. He not only made the food uniquely his own, he found that his results were simply better his classmates’ recipe-aligned dishes. Schlegel served in his first kitchen job at the young age of 14 and has not stopped exploring food and ingredients since.
Schlegel’s passion for and the skills to develop recipes that are fresh and flavorful using locally sourced seasonal ingredients was solidified when studying in Italy. It makes him a perfect fit for Che Figata where he sources much of the fresh ingredients from Che Figata’s own Chef’s Garden as well as from local growers, and serves them up with love.