Graham Elliot

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Chef Graham Elliot
Born Graham Elliot Bowles
(1977-01-04) January 4, 1977 (age 39)
Seattle, Washington, US
Education Johnson & Wales University
Culinary career

Graham Elliot[1] (born Graham Elliot Bowles, January 4, 1977)[2][3] is an American chef, based in Chicago, Illinois.

Early life[edit]

Graham Elliot Bowles was born in Seattle, Washington, 189cm in height, as a self-described "Navy brat".[4][5] He dropped out of high school at the age of 18 and began a career in the food business, as a dishwasher and bus boy.[3] He attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University.[5]


Elliot's first position following culinary school was at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, a five diamond/five-star property in Dallas, working under Chef Dean Fearing, who has no recollection of ever working with him. He then went to The Jackson House Inn & Restaurant in Woodstock, Vermont. It was there that he was named one of the ten Best New Chefs of 2004 by Food & Wine Magazine.[6][7] Elliot then moved to Chicago to work under the famed Charlie Trotter and Rick Tramonto at TRU. He later worked at Avenues at The Peninsula hotel, also in Chicago, where he received numerous accolades. Under Elliot, Avenue earned a four-star rating from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago magazine as well as a AAA Five Diamond Award.

In 2007, Elliot faced off against Iron Chef Bobby Flay on the TV show Iron Chef America, with the secret ingredient of chocolate. Elliot narrowly lost to Flay by a total score of 49-47. He afterwards appeared on Today.[4]

In May 2008, he opened his first restaurant, the eponymous Graham Elliot, which was the first bistronomic restaurant in Chicago.[7] It received three stars from the Chicago Tribune and two stars in the 2013 Michelin Guide.[8] The restaurant is one of just three restaurants in the city to currently hold two Michelin stars. (Only two Chicago restaurants have received the top honor of three stars.) In 2009, he appeared on the TV show Top Chef Masters. In the show, he cooked for The Heart and Stroke Foundation due to his nephew needing a heart transplant.

He has been nominated for a James Beard Award three times.[9]

In 2010, Elliot became a judge on the US version of the reality show MasterChef, along with Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich. He also opened his second Chicago restaurant, Grahamwich. He appeared as the Culinary Ambassador at Lollapalooza 2010, a three-day music festival in Chicago, where he cooked for both the public as well as backstage for the performers. Chicago Magazine published an article in which writer Cassie Walker, based on samples served at what had been intended as a tasting party for members of the media, unflatteringly described Elliot's menu offerings.[10] Elliot responded by delivering a profane tweet[11] insulting the magazine.[12] Despite this incident, Elliott was invited to serve Lollapalooza again in 2011.[13]

Since 2013, Elliot has been a judge for the cooking competition television series MasterChef Junior.[14]

Elliot opened Primary Food & Drink in Greenwich, CT in December 2013. The restaurant received a Good rating from the New York Times and was closed in June 2014, barely open for half a year. [15]

Personal life[edit]

Elliot and his wife Allie have two sons, Conrad and Jedediah Lindsay.[16] Elliot has another son, Mylo, from a previous marriage.[17]

In the summer of 2010, he changed his name professionally "after a lifetime of confusion and typos", according to his publicist.[1]

In 2013, Elliot underwent weight loss surgery, which allowed him over the following year to drop 150 pounds (68 kg), going from over 400 lb (180 kg) to 255 lb (116 kg).[18]

In October 2014, he and his wife ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. They both finished with 6:00:40 elapsed times. It was the first marathon for them both.


  1. ^ a b Vettel, Phil "Graham Elliot Bowles is just Graham Elliot now", Chicago Tribune blog, July 29, 2010
  2. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  3. ^ a b Graham Elliot Bowles, Chef, Blackbook, February 11, 2010
  4. ^ a b Front Burner: Graham Elliot Bowles, Chicago, June 2008 (accessed June 24, 2011)
  5. ^ a b Graham Elliot at
  6. ^ Best New Chefs 2004,, 2004.
  7. ^ a b Bio: Graham Elliot Bowles at
  8. ^ Michelin Chicago Guide 2013: Alinea, L2O, Graham Elliot grab top honors, Chicago Tribune, 13 November 2012 (accessed December 15, 2012)
  9. ^ "Gordon Ramsay Has A New Fox Show". 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ Walker, Cassie (July 2010). "Sampling Lollapalooza Food with Graham Elliot Bowles". Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Graham Elliot Bowles GOES OFF On Chicago Magazine After Lollapalooza Food Criticism, Huffington Post, 22 July 2010 (accessed June 26, 2010)
  12. ^ Kindelsperger, Nick. Graham Elliot Bowles Battles Chicago Magazine, Grub Street Chicago, 21 July 2010 (accessed June 26, 2011)
  13. ^ Chow Town at (accessed July 11, 2011)
  14. ^ "Junior MasterChef". Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Graham Elliot Welcomes Son Jedediah Lindsay". People. 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  17. ^ "Graham Elliot Is Looking Forward to Fatherhood – Times Three!". People. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  18. ^ "'MasterChef' Judge Graham Elliot Shows Off Impressive 150-Pound Weight Loss On Instagram", Huffington Post, 11 March 2014.