John Gadau and Phillip Hurley both cut their culinary teeth in the kitchens of Chicago. Looking for some change, they each headed for the west coast. John landed in L.A. working at Citrus during its prime and at Patina. Phillip headed to northern California and worked in a couple of trendy kitchens in San Francisco, including a stint at Zuni Cafe.
But, the lure of the Midwest brought them back to Chicago. It wasn’t until this second move back to Chicago that John and Phillip met as neighbors living in the same three-flat in the Wrigley area. They soon became good friends-working crazy restaurant hours in separate kitchens. Although they’d never worked together, they had a common vision. They wanted the freedom to live a slightly more normal pace of life, without leaving the restaurant business and they had a very specific idea about what they were looking to bring to the table. Madison seemed like a good fit, and in 2000 they made the leap and opened Marigold Kitchen just steps away from the Capitol, a sunny spot for tasty breakfast and lunch.
In spring 2006, Phillip and John opened the doors of Sardine, bringing bistro style dining and a lively bar scene to the shores of Lake Monona.