Fast Track: Ryan Poli

Ryan Poli of Chicago's Butter shares lessons from California and Spain.

Ryan Poli, chef at Chicago's Butter, creates classic food with an experimental edge. He names Thomas Keller as a mentor, recalling how he found himself picking fava beans with the star chef while interviewing for a spot at Napa's French Laundry. "I'd never even been on a farm before!" Poli says. He also credits training for a year in Spain as key to his interest in "scientific cooking."

PUBLISHED March 2006