Stephen Dunne was drawn to cooking during his high school years in suburban Detroit. After working in various family-style eateries, he eventually earned a job in the kitchen at the Townsend Hotel. It was here where Stephen was first introduced to classic structure and cooking techniques; this exposure planted a seed of desire to dive headfirst into the world of cooking. With newfound direction, Stephen made post-graduation plans to move to New Orleans and work at the Windsor Court Hotel with Kevin Graham. Stephen’s years in New Orleans introduced him to a new world of cuisine, and he gained a deep appreciation for seafood otherwise missing from his midwestern upbringing. He feels that the time he spent in New Orleans was the best possible boot camp for what followed next in his culinary journey.
After leaving New Orleans, Stephen went on to San Francisco and landed a career-defining position at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio. Here, he worked with some of the city’s most determined and talented chefs including Mitch Rosenthal, Giuseppe Scrato, and a myriad of others. During this invaluable experience, he developed his palate as well as his own style and work ethic. This is when Stephen began to define himself as a chef. After being exposed to the bounty of California talent flourishing in restaurants such as Spago, Rubicon, and The Fifth Floor, Stephen was inspired to take his next big leap and moved to Paris, France. While overseas, he worked at Lucas Carton, a 3 Michelin Star restaurant. Of his experience in France, Stephen uses one word: "grounding".
HIs journey eventually brought Stephen back to the midwest. Upon arriving in Chicago, he took on Chef de Cuisine positions at both Spago Chicago and Michael Kornick's MK prior to joining Jon Young in opening two ventures, Volo Restaurant Wine Bar and The Paramount Room.
Stephen currently resides in Chicago’s Roscoe Village an arm’s length away from Volo with his family: Julia, Calliope, and Rob The Dog.