our team

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AJ Walker
Chef de cuisine

After relocating to Chicago in 2009 and spending two years gaining experience at contemporary wine bar BIN 36, Walker landed the position of line cook at The Publican, the award-winning restaurant group’s modern-American beer hall. Under the tutelage of the restaurant's opening Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston, Walker honed his culinary skills, rising through the ranks and eventually assuming the role of sous chef in 2014. Over the ensuing years, he continued to develop his craft and expand his culinary skill set as he worked closely with Kahan within One Off Hospitality’s renowned roster of restaurants, serving as chef de cuisine at both Publican Anker and Publican Quality Meats, the group’s butcher shop and neighborhood café. Now at Café Cancale, Walker continues his legacy working with one of the country’s premier restaurant collectives, bringing his wealth of experience and aptitude to the new French-inspired concept.

 
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scott kennedy
Bar manager

Scott Kennedy has led wine and beverage programs at notable New York hotspots including Chef Albert Di Meglio’s (Barano, Le Cirque, Osteria del Circo) Rubirosa, popular Tribeca gastropub Distilled, Michelin-starred, James Beard award-winning fine dining institution, Public and drinks haven, Kind Regards. In 2018 he relocated to Chicago, landing behind the bar at eclectic West Town cocktail spot and restaurant, Beatnik, before joining, One Off Hospitality, as Bar Supervisor at Anker. in his current role at café cancale, Kennedy has cultivated a unique beverage program centered on French spirits and an assortment of classic cocktails influenced by those popular in the cafes of expatriate-era Paris. Employing his extensive beverage knowledge, Kennedy aims to maintain a carefully selected array of European and American-inspired amari, liqueur, Cognac and other libations that perfectly complement the restaurant’s menu of refined yet approachable “French-ish” fare.

 
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felipe ospina
general manager

Backed with over 15 years in the industry, Felipe Ospina has worked in service, led operations and provided brand development for acclaimed establishments in culinary epicenters including Miami (The Four Seasons Hotel, Nikki Beach), New York City (Buddha Bar, Mercadito West Village) and Chicago (Mercadito River North, Roka Akor, Untitled Supper Club, Imperial Lamian, Pacific Standard Time). With an extensive background in opening new restaurants as general manager, consulting work through his own company, Hats Off Hospitality, and as the former director of development and marketing for JNK Concepts (Roka Akor, Enolo Wine Café and Marigold Maison), Ospina brings an immense wealth of knowledge to Café Cancale. Dedicated to exceptional service and passionate about quality food and beverage offerings, Ospina and the Café Cancale team translate the eatery’s “French-ish” atmosphere into a memorable dining experience for every guest.

 
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one off hospitality

For over 20 years, One Off has led the dining progression in many of Chicago’s most beloved neighborhoods, going on to garner an impressive portfolio of prestigious industry accolades for everything from fine dining to fast casual, and interior design to inventive beverage programs. One Off holds true to the ethos that every project is unique, and operated in a spirit of complete and utter creativity. It suggests that each venture might be the last, which is why every individual concept is handled with the utmost attention to detail and character. Collectively the group has earned nine James Beard Foundation Awards of Excellence, received stars from Michelin Guide, and mentored talents to earn top honors such as Food & Wine Best New Chef, Star Chefs Rising Stars and more.