PIER 290 & Lake Life Catering Welcome Ken Hnilo as New Executive Chef

PIER 290 and Lake Life Catering are excited to welcome Ken Hnilo, most recently general manager at Bon Appétit Management Company and owner and executive chef of former and only AAA Four Diamond Lake Geneva restaurant Gilbert’s, as our new executive chef! Chef Ken will be responsible for designing and executing menus for PIER 290 and Lake Life Catering while overseeing a culinary staff of 22.

Chef Ken has worked in the highly regarded Chicago kitchens of Le Vichyssoise, Carlos’ and Charlie Trotter’s. A Lake Geneva resident, Chef Ken’s cooking career began at age 15 cooking at an inn in Fontana. He was trained in Chicago at the prestigious Kendall Culinary School and has been a chef for 23 years.

“My interest in cooking began with Sunday dinners at my grandma’s house where the people, environment and the food worked together to create a memorable experience,” said Chef Ken. “I’m excited to repeat this experience for PIER 290 customers as part of the Gage family.”

“Chef Ken’s creativity, skill and leadership experience will advance PIER 290 to a new level of culinary capability,” said Bill Gage, president and owner of PIER 290, Gage Marine, and Lake Geneva Cruise Line. “We are ready to build upon the great business we are already enjoying while maintaining our quality and further satisfying our customers.”

Chef Ken has already begun working with the kitchen team for both businesses to look for improvements and new inspiration for the current menus. We are very excited to see what he cooks up next!