Gregory G. Volle
Raised in Springfield, IL with maternal roots in the South, Volle was exposed to cuisine and cooking techniques both North and South of the Mason/Dixon line. His Texas grandfather was not only the king of his kitchen, but an avid year round hunter and fisherman who let nothing go to waste. “Earliest memories of cooking with Papaw would be getting to shake the brown paper grocery bag of seasoned flour after he would pound out venison backstrap and soak it in buttermilk. Picking boiled turkey neck meat for Thanksgiving gravy was another trick I still use every year.”
Volle transferred to Ole Miss in Oxford, MS in 1995 when he found his first love of the restaurant industry. Working part time at the infamous Proud Larry’s, known for its live music and upscale college cuisine, Volle was enamored with the “counterculture of line cooks, bartenders and servers that are universally some of the most fun and interesting people you will ever meet.”
After another handful of blues bar and bakery positions in Oxford, Volle graduated with a Journalism degree and moved to Chicago, where he avoided a life in public relations, to land his first Sous Chef position opening the Goose Island Wrigleyville location. Heading down the street to ‘The Outpost’ for more upscale pastures, Volle decided to take his culinary career more seriously.
He graduated from the inaugural class of Johnson and Wales University Denver and interned in Charleston, SC at Blossom Café under one of the south’s most prominent chefs, Donald Barickman. With a new found interest in seafood and ‘new southern cuisine’, Volle stayed at Blossom and eventually moved over to ‘Coast’ under Exec.Chef Fred Neuville and quickly became lead line cook. Becoming eager for more creative control (and fresh powder), Volle returned to the mountains and found a home in Crested Butte, CO. He became the Chef de Cuisine at Buffalo Grille/Harry’s Fine Dining under the well traveled Chef/Owner Anthony Reichenbach. Here he fine tuned his fine dining skills and line cook sensibilities.
Coming full circle, Volle returned to Springfield, IL to become the Executive Chef at the Illinois Executive Mansion for Governor Rod Blagojevich, current Governor Pat Quinn and has hosted Arch Bishop Desmond TuTu, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Governor Jim Thompson and numerous other Senators, Representatives, Dignitaries, families and friends of the state and the nation. He is joined by Chef de Cuisine Mike Lantz. They both have been guest chefs at Ravinia in Chicago and look forward to “showcasing the unexpected bounty that the fertile state of Illinois has to offer.”