Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Executive Chef of Travelle Kitchen + Bar in Chicago

Chef Tim Graham has become known for his inventive American cuisine—inspired by historical styles, international flavors, his Midwestern roots, and a background in refined, modern techniques. After nearly three years, Tim Graham has left his role as executive chef at popular Chicago restaurant, Travelle Kitchen + Bar,  to open his own restaurant. While still in the planning stages, Chef Tim hopes to open the new restaurant by mid-2017. 

  • In February 2016, Chef Tim Graham left Travelle Kitchen + Bar to open a new restaurant with his wife, Rebekah Graham and business partner, Branko Palikuca. 
  • Known for his award-winning cuisine, Chef Tim was selected to be a member of the Norwegian Seafood Council’s Culinary Board in 2014. He participated on a weeklong culinary enrichment trip to Norway where he was able to see the thriving seafood industry firsthand.  Upon returning, he promoted Norwegian Salmon and Skrei on his menu, highlighting the unique attributes of each species.
  • He won the Cochon 555 Chicago competition in April 2014.
  • Chef Tim became executive chef of Travelle Kitchen + Bar when it opened in August 2013 in the Langham Hotel in Chicago.
  • In early 2010, LEYE founder Rich Melman asked Graham to join forces with internationally-acclaimed French Chef Jean Joho as executive chef of Brasserie Jo. Later that year, Graham was an instrumental member of the culinary team that transitioned Brasserie Jo to a new French concept called Paris Club.
  • Over the next four years, he steadily climbed TRU’s ranks, holding the position of chef de cuisine before eventually being named executive chef of the Mobil Four Star and AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Under Chef Graham’s leadership, TRU received four-star reviews from renowned food critics at Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and Chicago Magazine among others.
  • He explored opportunities in Milwaukee and on the West Coast but chose to return to TRU in 2003. Soon after, the Chicago restaurant earned a Michelin star.
  • Graham enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, VT. As fate would have it, the school’s program presented Graham with the opportunity to travel to Chicago, where he completed a six-month internship at the famed fine-dining restaurant, TRU.
  • He began his culinary career at Les Bourgeois in Rocheport, MO. 
  • Graham worked as a line cook at a local restaurant while studying biochemistry at the University of Missouri. The early culinary experience proved to be a turning point as he switched majors and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Food Science.
"It was really eye opening to see the production of seafood in Norway. The farms were literally floating in the middle of these gorgeous fjords, with the bracing Nordic air and water free to flow all around. The farming methods were incredibly low impact to the animals, with most of the nets only having a 1% biomass. Meeting the farmers was great, as these guys were all “of the ocean”. Tasting the salmon food with one young Norwegian really told me that they were proud of everything, if they were willing to eat the fish food that tells you how wholesome it was. Having seen the fish, how it’s raised, I have 100% trust in the quality of the Norwegian product."