Sopra Executive Chef and Owner Simon Cumming was born in Dublin, Ireland and lived in London, Tokyo, Portland, and Chicago before moving to Lake Geneva to open Sopra, his first restaurant in 2008. Simon grew up developing a deep knowledge of nature and the outdoors. His passion for food coupled with an ability to create dishes from natural, simple ingredients has followed him through his career as a chef. Chef Simon attended the International Culinary School of Phoenix. He then accepted a position at Pazzo Cucina Italiana, a downtown Naples, Florida restaurant on 5th Avenue offering authentic Italian food.
Cumming returned to his hometown of Chicago in 2001 and worked at Wave at the W Hotel, critically acclaimed Gabriel's and JP Chicago alongside famed Chicago chef Jason Paskewitz always learning more about food, how to be a chef and run your own restaurant. Cumming still considers Paskewitz a mentor and friend today. Ingredient-driven Chef/Owner Simon Cumming designs Italian-American Bistro classics. Putting a contemporary American twist on Bistro classics like the succulent Berkshire pork chop, lamb shank, Wagyu flat iron steak, venison pot roast pappardelle, scallops, whole fish, chargrilled baby octopus, smoked chicken gnocchi, in addition to delivering his unique, seasonal daily specials.
Simon has always understood the importance of the raw ingredients used in cooking. He has made it a cornerstone of Sopra to ensure he is constantly sourcing and re-assessing what he buys and from whom. He believes this is the only way to ensure that the quality of the dishes he is serving his customers remains consistently high. Cumming has drawn from his fine dining and innovative culinary backgrounds along with personal and inspired experiences to craft Sopra's seasonally driven and globally influenced menu. All of this is woven together with exceptional execution and presentation.
Chef Simon embraces the Midwestern Seasons, his menu showcases local flavors and ingredients in abundance.