Our Team

CHEF

Sarah Stegner

Sarah Stegner is the co-owner & chef of Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook Illinois. She is the former restaurant chef of The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Chicago, owned and operated by Four Seasons. She worked there for 21 years before opening Prairie Grass Cafe in 2004. She is a two-time James Beard Award Winner and was recently named Restaurateur of the Year by the Illinois Restaurant Association. Stegner is a founding member- past president of Green City Market (501c3) and continues to drive education surrounding the organic sustainable food movement into the mainstream. Stegner is a founding member of The Abundance Setting, (501c3) that supports working women & mothers in the culinary industry. Stegner is passionate about local food, creating a better model in the culinary industry & helping others. Stegner is a co-founder of Chicago Chefs Cook which raised over 1 million dollars since 2022 through culinary events. World Central Kitchen has been the recipient of some of the funds raised through Chicago Chefs Cook. She is now a member of the Chef Corp for WCKITCHEN. When disaster strikes, the Prairie Grass Cafe Team is proud to step-up and help. She also acts as an advisor to Chef Sebastian White of The Evolved Network, which creates a wellness space through food, farming, and cooking for “our kids” that are underprivileged.

CHEF
CHEF

George Bumbaris

In 1983 George Bumbaris began a 21-year journey at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago. He was named executive chef of the hotel in 1991. Bumbaris has won several important culinary awards – he won first place in the United States going on to represent the US in the 26th Prix Culinaire International Pierre Taittinger in 1992, and also took first place in The Bocuse D'or American Culinary Gold Cup in 1990 going on to compete in Lyon.

In 2004, George joined Sarah Stegner, his long-time colleague at the Ritz-Carlton, in opening Prairie Grass Cafe. Together they have built a large following of enthusiasts who enjoy their casual American fare which is prepared using the fine French techniques for which they became well known.The duo’s work has been featured in such publications including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, Food and Wine and Condé Nast Traveler.

CHEF
Director of Operations - Sommelier

Pierre Lasserre

Pierre was born and raised in Auch, a small town in the south of France, famous for being the birthplace of the legendary D'Artagnan and Three Musketeers.

Pierre worked as a Matre D’hôtel for 3 Michelin Stars restaurant Michel Guerard in Eugenie Les Bains prior to his move to Chicago in 1989 and joining the opening team at The Four Seasons Hotel.

After a long career with Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Pierre is thrilled to join Prairie Grass Cafe, going back to his lifelong passion for providing great service and amazing food and wine experiences.   

Director of Operations - Sommelier
Restaurant Manager

Joon Ha

Joon Ha joined the Prairie Grass Cafe team in September of 2021 as a server and quickly progressed into a management role. He strives for excellence and values fair, equitable, and inclusive leadership. With his background of working in restaurants and coffee shops, Joon is equipped to manage the Prairie Grass Cafe staff with finesse and tact. He is active in growing our loyal customer base and creating a positive engaged community.

Restaurant Manager
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Foodie Friday: Meet Prairie Grass Cafe owner Sarah Stegner
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Foodie Friday: Meet Prairie Grass Cafe owner Sarah Stegner
March 19, 2024

CHICAGO (CBS) — Sarah Stegner is a two-time James Beard Award-winning chef, a restauranteur, a philanthropist,… Read moreRead moreFoodie Friday: Meet Prairie Grass Cafe owner Sarah Stegner

March 19, 2024
Community Fridge Gives Back in Evanston
Community Fridge Gives Back in Evanston
March 8, 2024

Chicago’s top chefs are teaming up to help the less fortunate by providing food for… Read moreRead moreCommunity Fridge Gives Back in Evanston

March 8, 2024
Holiday Helpings 2023 with the Greater Chicago Food Depository
Holiday Helpings 2023 with the Greater Chicago Food Depository
December 22, 2023

Leading up to Christmas, FOX 32 Chicago is partnering with local chefs to help inspire… Read moreRead moreHoliday Helpings 2023 with the Greater Chicago Food Depository

December 22, 2023
Read the news of our restaurant, recipes for delicious fears, tips for your home kitchen in our blog!
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