ANDREW ZIMMERMAN • Chef Partner
Andrew Zimmerman is the Chef Partner at nationally acclaimed Sepia and Proxi. In his 20s, while following a life-long dream to become a musician, Zimmerman supported himself by working in restaurants in New York City. When he realized he enjoyed being in the kitchen more than the clubs, Zimmerman began to pursue a career as a professional cook. He worked as sous chef for three years under Renato Sommella, whom he cites as one of his strongest culinary mentors. He then enrolled in the prestigious French Culinary Institute in New York City, graduating first in his class in 2000. Zimmerman made the move to Chicago in 2003 to assume a chef position at the Park Hyatt Chicago. In 2008, he was introduced to Sepia Owner Emmanuel Nony, and the following year, he joined Sepia as the executive chef.
In addition to culinary recognition from the James Beard Foundation and Michelin, the chef has been honored for his community involvement. Zimmerman is excited to grow his culinary vision with the opening of Proxi. At Proxi, Chef Zimmerman has a chance to experiment with new techniques and flavor profiles as the contemporary American restaurant pulls inspiration from global street food. When he’s not in the kitchens of Proxi or Sepia, he can be found traveling with his family — and finding culinary inspiration all along the way.
ARTHUR HON • Sommelier & Wine Director
A trained visual artist, Wine Director Arthur Hon compares his work in the world of wine as a four-dimensional outlet to express his creativity. Through the lists he creates at Michelin-starred Sepia and newly-opened Proxi, he brings a natural affinity for creating a sensory experience through food and wine to Chicago. Hon continues to achieve critical acclaim for his work in wine throughout the country and the world. In 2016 alone, he was certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and achieved his Advanced Sommelier certification, was recognized by Wine Enthusiast as “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants,” and a James Beard Foundation finalist nomination in the Outstanding Wine Program category.
Hon was also recognized by Food & Wine as a Sommelier of the Year in 2017. At Proxi, Hon’s wine list will have a rotating theme that will change seasonally with the menu. He also hosts weekly wine staff training events to foster the servers’ knowledge and passion for wine at the Michelin star-rated restaurant.
SARAH MISPAGEL • Pastry Chef
Growing up in San Diego, Sarah Mispagel’s initial culinary inspirations came from her uncle. Mispagel, in awe of his culinary talents and the happiness they brought him, realized she could make a living doing the same thing. As her own kitchen talents veered towards baking, she ventured to Orange County after high school to attend the Art Institute of California’s baking and pastry degree program. After some time in Portland, OR and Cincinnati, OH, Sarah set her sights on Chicago, joining mk The Restaurant as pastry sous chef. Building a strong reputation in the city, Mispagel joined Nightwood as pastry chef garnering recognition as a semifinalist for Eater’s “Young Guns 2014.”
Sarah was a part of the opening team at Jason Vincent’s acclaimed Giant, and sprung at the opportunity to join the Proxi and Sepia team in 2017. At Proxi, her dessert program complements Chef Zimmerman’s globally inspired menu.
EMMANUEL NONY • Managing Partner
Emmanuel Nony is the consummate hospitality professional. Raised in the French countryside by parents who were true bon vivants, they passed their love of good food and entertaining down to their son. After attending culinary school, Nony fixed his sights on the front of the house, transitioning to the service side from the kitchen — and hasn’t looked back. Nony played an integral role at the Hyatt Hotel Group for sixteen years, working at several of their properties around the world including Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Seoul, Hyatt Regency Fukuoka and Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Returning to the States, his next opportunity within the company was to open the highly-anticipated Park Hyatt Chicago and its restaurant, NoMI. Having fallen in love with the Windy City, Nony decided to put down roots here and opened Sepia followed by Private Dining by Sepia. Nony is thrilled to continue to build upon his quarter city block with the opening of Proxi, where many of the flavors and techniques from his travels abroad are showcased.