Before opening Bardo, Michael Noll worked in Chicago at Moto, Butter, Schwa & Sous Rising. Chef Michael Noll sports an impressive resume that includes some of Chicago’s finest restaurants. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Noll’s earliest culinary influences were his grandparents and mother. Watching them cook for him is one of his first memories the chef has of food and cooking, and to this day, Noll considers his mother’s food his favorite. His first professional experience happened by chance when Noll was injured skateboarding and was made to get a job as a kitchen dishwasher by his mother, yet another way she managed to influence his career. Noll recalls check and owner Michael Barbaso as his first mentor during his time working in the kitchen at Peppercorns.
The budding culinarian went on to work at Baum Vivant Restaurant in Pittsburgh, where he served as Sous Chef for 2 years under the tutelage of Chef Toni Pais. In 2006, Noll went to Chicago and landed at Moto, then one of the most cutting-edge restaurants in the country. HE followed this with tenures at Butter, Trenchermen, and Powerhouse, the latter of which he was part of the opening kitchen staff. Next up for Mike was a stint at yet another highly touted Chicago destination, Schwa. Noll worked under the guidance of chef-owner Michael Carlson, whose passion and love for his craft was instilled in this young chef. He also helped open Jam with Chef Jeff Mauro, whom Noll considers a major influence in his career. He worked as Sous Chef at Jam for a year before making his way to Elate, a busy downtown hotel where he started as the Sous Chef until he took over as Executive Chef for 2 years.
Mike wanted to get back into fine dining and landed a Sous Chef position at an underground dining club called Sous Rising where he worked along with Chef Jake Bickelhaupt (former owner of the two Michelin-starred 42 Grams), and whom he considers the most influential chef he has had the chance to work beside.