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Kevin Boehm      

Co-Founder of Boka Restaurant Group

After opening 33 restaurants over the last 30 years, James Beard winning restaurateur Kevin Boehm has become one of the nation’s most successful owner/operators. Kevin, along with his partner Rob Katz, have not only built a thriving restaurant group, but have established a culture built on great chefs, inspired design, and enlightened hospitality.

Born in 1970, Kevin grew up in Springfield, Illinois and knew at a young age that he wanted to be in the restaurant business. After working in the industry for just a few years, he saved enough money to open a 6-table restaurant in 1993 called the Lazy Daze Café, in quaint Seaside, Florida. Indigo Wine Bar (Blue Mountain Beach, FL), Indigo (Springfield, IL) and Six Degrees (Nashville, TN) would follow, and Boehm got his education opening and selling 4 restaurants all before the age of 30.

In 2002, Boehm would partner with Rob Katz, and the two would open over 30 places together in less than 20 years. The group’s many accolades and accomplishments include 18 James Beard Finalist nominations, two Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs, & 10 consecutive Michelin Stars for Boka.

Boehm, along with Katz, won Restaurateurs of the Year in TimeOut Chicago in 2010, the Chicago Tribune in 2011, and were Eater National’s Empire Builders of the Year in 2012.

They have been James Beard Finalists for Best Restaurateur in America in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and New City Chicago ranked them #1 in 2017 in its annual list of the 50 most powerful influencers on the Chicago dining scene. In 2019 they won Outstanding Restaurateur in America at the James Beard Awards.

Kevin has been a featured or keynote speaker for the National Restaurant Show, MUFSO, Miami Food & Wine, New York City Wine & Food Festival, Montage Hotels Summit, IPSOS Summit, The New Zealand Restaurant Association, The Illinois Restaurant Association, Kellogg School of Management, University of Illinois, The Global Business District, Chicago Gourmet, The Welcome Conference at Lincoln Center, Hearst Publishing, Roti, aSweatLife Wellness Summit and many others. He has given the commencement address at both Culinary Institute of America and Kendall College.

He currently sits on the board of the Illinois Restaurant Association, OpenTable, 826 CHI, and is a founding member if the Independent Restaurant Coalition. He also owns Bian, the country’s most comprehensive wellness private club.


James Beard Awards: Boka Restaurant Group, Parachute ... - Chicago
Big winners at tonight's James Beard Awards included Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of Boka Restaurant Group, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark of Parachute, and  ...
Chicago nabs 14 nominations in James Beard Foundation finals for ...
Co-founders Rob Katz, left, and Kevin Boehm, right, and executive chef Lee Wolen ... Founders Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz were nominated in the Outstanding ...

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