Adam Stark, Director of Sixteen

Adam Stark discovered his passion for food at an early age, often cooking meals together with his family and experimenting with different ingredients in the kitchen. In later years, Stark quickly became enamored by hospitality upon seeing food’s ability to bring people together, complemented by unmatched service.

After graduation from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Stark gained valuable experience at various restaurants before becoming a food runner at Chicago’s renowned Alinea restaurant, his first stint in front of house operations. He later accepted the role of expeditor at Grace restaurant during its opening, directing the restaurant’s kitchen service and training new team members. Upon passing his first sommelier exam, Stark was appointed to captain at Grace, where he developed his love in communicating with guests on a personal level, elevating their dining experiences. Stark continued growing his career by establishing the non-alcoholic beverage program and assisting with wine inventory before accepting his current role of manager at two-Michelin starred Sixteen helmed by executive chef Nick Dostal.

For Stark, creating an unmatched and impressionable experience for each guest that dines in is paramount. He believes that quality guest service and hospitality in fine dining are best achieved by humility, with the guest’s importance being the crux of a restaurant’s ultimate success.

He cites his industry inspirations as general manager and partner Michael Muser of Grace for his unique approach to creating a cohesive dining experience, as well as chef Dave Beran for his skill to adapt in any situation based on his versatile abilities and passion for the industry.

In years to come, Stark believes that chef-driven dining concepts will continue to thrive, with more restaurants catering menus toward both local and sustainable ingredients. Outside of Sixteen, Stark enjoys fitness, playing golf and exploring life in the city with his fiancé and dog.