JACOB SOLOMON

EXECUTIVE CHEF

A native of Chicago, Jacob Solomon has been working in kitchens since he was 15 years old. Realizing his passion for culinary arts early on, Solomon attended Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. After receiving his degree in 2005, he began working in some of Chicago’s top fine dining establishments including downtown’s The Peninsula Hotel and NoMi restaurant within Park Hyatt. Here, Solomon developed his skills through several roles as chef de parti, butcher, saucier and more. In 2013, Solomon was approached by Chef Christian Ragano (Cindy’s, NoMi) with an opportunity to help open Guildhall in suburban Glencoe as sous chef, transforming an 1800s hardware store into a sophisticated American Bistro. Later, he joined the opening team of Dusek’s Board & Beer, an elevated gastropub located within historic music venue Thalia Hall in Pilsen, Chicago. As chef de cuisine, he was responsible for often feeding hundreds of concert-goers nightly and collaborating on menus for multiple concepts housed within the building. At the end of 2014, Solomon left Dusek’s to join Lettuce Entertain You hospitality, working alongside the group's partners Christopher Meers and Marc Jacobs in separate divisions. During his three-year tour with the company, Solomon functioned as a divisional chef and later, executive sous chef at multiple restaurants in Illinois, Maryland and California. In 2018, Solomon accepted the executive chef position at famed theater company Second City, overseeing the venue's 1959 Kitchen & Bar and Up Kitchen. A longtime Bucktown resident, Solomon became friends with Chef-Owner Oliver Poilevey of the neighborhood’s acclaimed French bistro Le Bouchon and would occasionally help out in the kitchen there. It was here that he was introduced to restauranteur Aldo Zaninotto (Osteria Langhe), and the two quickly bonded over their shared love of food. In 2020, Zaninotto invited Solomon to help open his second concept inspired by the Roman neighborhood Testaccio. Within his role as executive chef, Solomon’s menu at the namesake restaurant takes inspiration from the multicultural history of Testaccio both as a historic trade hub and a modern foodie mecca of today. Utilizing key relationships with local farms to replicate the freshly sourced ingredients of Italy, Solomon creates authentic comfort dishes and Roman staples at Testaccio.