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With an extensive background in seafood, Chef de Cuisine Bill Montagne, brings a refined yet approachable cooking style to Nico Osteria’s kitchen. Inspired by his family, which is filled with talented chefs, Montagne spent his high school years working various restaurant jobs before enrolling at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. After graduating in 2004, Montagne started his professional career at high-end Chicago restaurants including Les Nomades and NoMi before relocating to New York City, where he honed his craft as sous chef at the three-star Michelin, Relais & Châteaux, Le Bernardin, and spent four years working under the guidance of world-renowned chef Eric Ripert. Returning to Chicago in 2015, Montagne joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as Corporate Chef for their fine dining division and was the opening chef at C Chicago in River North. In February 2016, Montagne broke out on his own and opened the casual seafood restaurant, Snaggletooth, where he was honored with a 2017 Jean Banchet Award for “Rising Chef of the Year” with co-founder and chef Jennifer Kim. Since joining Nico Osteria in 2017, Montagne has utilized his expertise in seafood to create delicious riffs on classic coastal Italian dishes, earning him a consecutive Jean Banchet Award, this time for Best Chef de Cuisine of 2018.


After a life-changing crème brulee at Top of the Mark in San Francisco, Leigh Omilinsky decided to pursue a career in pastry, motivating her to take jobs in local bakeries as a teenager and eventually, graduate from Johnson & Wales University with a dual degree in Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management. Omilinsky first started as a pastry cook at the JW Marriott in Denver, but quickly relocated to Chicago in 2006, where she worked for James Beard award-winning chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand—first at Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood as the lead pastry cook and then at TRU restaurant as pastry tournant. In 2009, Omilinksy joined three-starred Michelin Guide-awarded L20 restaurant, where she served as chef de partie under celebrated chef Laurent Gras. At the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Omilinsky first worked as the assistant pastry chef before being promoted to executive pastry chef in 2012, where she oversaw the hotel’s entire pastry program, which included beautiful, plated desserts at Café des Architectes and Le Bar, as well as private dining and in-room amenities. Recognized in Zagat’s “30 Under 30 List” and honored with a Jean Banchet Award for “Best Pastry Chef,” Omilinsky utilizes her expertise at Nico Osteria to craft both sweet and savory selections that showcase vine-ripened fruits and wildflowers, among other carefully-sourced ingredients.