Matthias Merges is the chef and proprietor of Folkart Management, a craft-driven hospitality group focused on operational excellence and state of the art design. After leaving Charlie Trotter’s Organization as Director of Operations and Executive Chef after 14 years Matthias created Folkart a conceptually diverse organization which includes award-winning cocktail bar Billy Sunday, craft brewery Old Irving Brewing, acclaimed whiskey bar and restaurant Mordecai, cocktail bars Hush Money, Spindle Bar and brew pub Lucky Dorr. Matthias also consults with such companies as Amtrak, United Airlines, Angustura and Cuisine Solutions
A longtime contributor to Chicago’s culinary and hospitality community, Merges is deeply passionate about leveraging the industry’s and his resources for philanthropy. He is the co-founder of Pilot Light, helping kids make healthier choices by connecting the lessons they learn in their classrooms to the foods they eat on their lunch trays, at home, and in their communities. Matthias sits as President of the board of directors of Pilot Light.
A Chicago Gourmet chef and frequent media contributor, Merges and his restaurants have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, Robb Report, NBC, Fox, WGN, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine as well as many others.
Matthias is married to Rachel Crowl and father of three daughters Kaitlyn, Gretl and Tatum.