Amber Lancaster, EXECUTIVE CHEF
A Tucson native, Lancaster initially pursued a political science degree to prepare for law school. After her aunt helped her realize her dream of cooking, she nixed the courthouse for the kitchen and attended Le Cordon Bleu Paris where she earned her Le Grande Diplôme. Lancaster continued to hone her craft abroad where she worked as a private chef in Paris and held positions at the Michelin-rated French dining destination, Restaurant Guy Savoy, and the historic luxury hotel, Hôtel de Crillon. During this time, Lancaster read chef Grant Achatz’s cookbook, Alinea, and set her sights on Chicago. She relocated to the Windy City in 2011 and trained in molecular gastronomy under the acclaimed chef at his Michelin-rated restaurant, Alinea.
Following her departure from Alinea, Lancaster worked as a private executive chef, returned to school to pursue her BA in French & Communications, and then became the executive resident chef at Sur La Table in 2016. Yearning to be back in a kitchen surrounded by others passionate about food and seeing both herself and others learn and grow, Lancaster accepted the role as executive chef of Sable Kitchen & Bar in October 2017.
Lancaster brings more than 10 years of worldly hospitality training and experience to the restaurant’s menu of Contemporary American cuisine. When the chef coat is off, Lancaster can be found indulging her inner foodie at different restaurants throughout the city, taking her dogs to the dog beach, reading and rolling out her yoga mat.
Beverage Director, Jenee Craver
Beverage Director and Level 1 Sommelier, Jenee Craver, brings more than six years of industry experience to the pre-prohibition inspired cocktail program at Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
Born and raised in Ithaca, NY, Craver got her start as a server and bartender at World Café Live at The Queen, an independent music venue in Wilmington, DE. After graduating from East Stroudsburg University in 2011 with a B.S. in Hospitality Management, Craver was eventually promoted to Head Bartender and Supervisor of World Café Live’s Philadelphia location. It was here that Craver began delving into the world of craft cocktails. She created house-made bitters, tinctures, syrups and Liqueur and implemented a barrel-aged cocktail program. In 2016, Craver put on “Distilladelphia,” a craft spirits event that showcased 21 local distilleries. That same year she became a finalist in Glenfiddich’s “World’s Most Experimental Bartender” competition before accepting the position as Bar Manager of In The Valley (ITV), a cocktail bar with an extensive, natural wine program in Philadelphia.
As Bar Manager of ITV, Craver collaborated with chefs to create cocktail pairing menus and furthered her wine education by becoming a certified Level 1 Sommelier. In 2017, Craver joined Tales of the Cocktail’s Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) where she met mentor and former Sable bartender, Jessica Lambert, who inspired her to further her bar education. In the fall of 2018, Craver relocated to Chicago and accepted the position as Beverage Director of Sable Kitchen & Bar.
With Craver at Sable’s helm, the acclaimed bar program will continue to feature unique and modern cocktails that are built upon the foundation of classic recipes. When not behind the stick, Craver can be found sketching, reading and cycling.