Since 2003, Boka has solidified its place as one of Chicago's most iconic restaurants. Chef Lee Wolen’s seasonal American food centers on beautiful ingredients and expertly executed preparations, delivering à la carte dishes and a hyper-seasonal tasting menu with graceful, genuine hospitality. With a distinctive combination of unparalleled service, a visionary chef, and exceptional design, Boka exemplifies Boka Restaurant Group’s core mission to create unique, timeless restaurants.

Since joining Boka as Chef Partner, Wolen  has garnered a Michelin star from 2013 to present; “3 Stars” and “Chef of the Year” from the Chicago Tribune; and “Chef of the Year” and “Restaurant of the Year” at the Jean Banchet Awards. In 2023, Chef Wolen launched his inaugural Boka: The Cookbook, celebrating the restaurant and Wolen's tenure as Chef Partner.  

michelin starred 2011-2023
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james beard SEMIFINALIST 2020
Outstanding restaurant
james beard nominee 2017 & 2018
Outstanding service
james beard FINALIST 2016, 2017 & 2018
Best Chef: Great Lakes
james beard nominee 2016, 2017 & 2018
outstanding pastry chef
pastry chef of the year 2016
chicago tribune
pastry chef of the year 2016
Jean banchet awards
#8 phil vettel's top 50 restaurants in chicago
Chicago tribune 2016 & 2017
Restaurant of the year 2015
Jean banchet Awards
chef of the year 2015
Jean banchet Awards, chicago tribune, eater
top 100 restaurants 2015,2016 & 2017
best new chef, great lakes: people's choice nominee
Food & wine 2015
30 chefs to watch
plate magazine, october 2015
Rising star 2015


Lee Wolen, Chef/ Partner
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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Lee Wolen decided to pursue a career in the kitchen when he was in high school. During his early career, Wolen worked as Sous Chef at Moto and Butter in Chicago before spending time in Europe at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and the famed El Bulli.

After his time in Europe, Wolen returned to the States and spent three years as Sous Chef at Eleven Madison Park in New York. During his tenure, Eleven Madison Park achieved The New York Times' coveted four stars, earned multiple Michelin stars, and a Top Ten ranking in San Pellegrino's "World's 50 Best Restaurants."

In 2012, Wolen returned to his midwestern roots, joining The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago as Chef de Cuisine. Under Wolen, The Lobby received a five-star rating from Time Out Chicago, a four-star review from Chicago Magazine, three stars from the Chicago Tribune, and a Michelin star.

In 2014, Wolen joined Boka Restaurant as Executive Chef/Partner, where he was named "2014 Chef of the Year" by Chicago Tribune and Eater Chicago, one of Plate Magazine's "30 Chefs to Watch," and was nominated as a finalist for a James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Great Lakes” in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Boka has maintained a Michelin star from 2011 to 2022.

Wolen will open GG's Chicken Shop brick and mortar Fall 2022. With a streamlined menu of rotisserie chicken, chicken sandwiches, and familiar homestyle sides, this concept stems from Wolen's own childhood dinner table.

Meghan Mcgarvey, pastry chef
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Bio coming soon.

jonathan dockter, culinary director
Thibaut idenn, wine director
devin drerup, general manager
wood jameson, chef de cuisine
diego solano, executive sous chef
humberto Gonzalez, sous chef