Tastemaker Sarah Grueneberg

Raised in Houston, based in Chicago and thoroughly inspired by Italy, “Top Chef” finalist Sarah Grueneberg is head chef at Monteverde, a modern Italian restaurant at 1020 W.

A 15 year industry veteran, Sarah’s career has been punctuated with experiences that sculpted her culinary approach; most recently, she served as executive chef of the acclaimed Italian restaurant Spiaggia under chef/partner Tony Mantuano.

She moved to Chicago from her native Houston in 2005 to accept a line cook position, and over a five-year period came to helm the Michelin-starred kitchen, earning accolades throughout her tenure. A defining period in her career, Sarah credits Spiaggia with nurturing her love of Italian cuisine and culture, and she tours and trains throughout Italy’s rich culinary regions as often as possible.

In 2011, Sarah’s talent gained international acclaim through Bravo’s reality show, “Top Chef: Texas,” where she finished as a finalist. She also appeared as an all-star aboard “Top Chef At Sea,” traveling through France and the Iberian Peninsula. After earning her Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Houston in 2001, Sarah’s first taste of kitchen life came when she served as a line cook at the iconic Brennan’s of Houston. She became the restaurant’s youngest ever sous chef at age 22. Monteverde is Sarah’s first restaurant, which she co-owns with business partner Meg Sahs.