Lending a hand on an animal farm near St. Charles, Missouri, Carl Shelton grew up understanding the bond forged between farmer and buyer. Now, Shelton, the chef de cuisine at BOKA Restaurant, is on the other side, perusing Chicago's farmers markets every week for the best product.
At the age of 16, Shelton began cooking his way through a myriad of St. Charles restaurants, which included both mom-and-pop shops and corporate high-volume restaurants. After moving to Chicago in 2004 and then, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Shelton joined the Gibsons Restaurant Group. After this, he began to stage in restaurants around the city, most notably at Tru, before becoming the tournade at De La Costa. Each step, each chef and each station along the way has influenced Shelton's philosophy on food, but no one has had more of an impact than his mentor, Giuseppe Tentori, executive chef at BOKA.
A firm believer in keeping cuisine simple and clean, Shelton painstakingly examines each product to ensure his dishes are the dishes he would want set on his own table.
A life-long and vocal St. Louis Cardinals fan, Shelton lives in Wrigleyville.