Shane Graybeal, Executive Chef
Sable Kitchen & Bar
Executive Chef Shane Graybeal joined Sable Kitchen & Bar in November 2016, and brings with him more than 21 years of culinary experience.
Growing up in a small town in the heart of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, Graybeal learned the culinary basics from his family at an early age. Fishing and cleaning trout with his dad was followed by frying it in cornmeal and lard with his mother. The humble garden his family tended to sprouted peppers, cucumbers and green beans that he helped prime for canning with his grandmother, who also raised hogs and taught him how to pickle pig’s feet.
After completing his professional culinary education at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, Graybeal landed a job back in his native state at the prestigious Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock where he thrived on creating iterations of classic French dishes. In the years following, Graybeal met his soon-to-be mentor and friend, Michael Yelton, while working in his fine dining restaurant, 102 North. Yelton taught Graybeal about wine and helped with his induction into Chaîne des Rôtisseurs—an International Association of Gastronomy. From there, Graybeal headed to Washington D.C. and spent the next five years predominantly serving American Contemporary Cuisine as the executive sous chef at Firefly, located inside Kimpton’s Hotel Madera in Dupont Circle. During this time, Graybeal also expanded his palate and traveled abroad to experience a variety of European cuisines like Nordic, Modern German and Bistro. In 2015, Graybeal made the leap to Chicago and assumed his first executive chef role at BIN 36, a wine bar and restaurant in the West Loop neighborhood.
With Graybeal now at Sable Kitchen & Bar’s helm, the culinary program will continue to serve Contemporary American cuisine, but with a touch of the Southern influence that’s at the core of Graybeal’s culinary history and passion.
Mike Jones, Head Bartender
A Midwest native, Mike Jones brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the pre-prohibition inspired cocktail program at Sable Kitchen & Bar.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Jones got his start as a server and eventual lead barback at the casual-dining chain, T.G.I. Friday’s. Credited with reviving craft cocktails for the masses and inventing the “singles bar,” it was here that Jones learned strong service standards that earned him a Gold Rank and Service Excellence award. Jones continued in the service industry, working as a server and lead bartender in locally-acclaimed bars and fine dining restaurants in Cleveland, and later Fort Lauderdale, before joining the team at Chicago’s Sable Kitchen & Bar in 2011.
Behind Sable’s 40-foot bar, Jones honed his craft under the guidance of acclaimed, former head bartender, Mike Ryan. Eventually, he was given the reigns to spearhead Sable’s craft beer program and “Stage” employee training program. Jones still oversees the Stage program and educates new, incoming bartenders to become key players within Sable’s bar team. Prior to his promotion, Jones worked alongside former head bartender, John Stanton, to curate Sable’s quarterly list of original cocktails and introduce new brews to the bar’s distinctive collection.
With Jones 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. His strong focus on innovative cocktail presentations and use of obscure ingredients will undoubtedly be creatively woven into the seasonal cocktail lists. Jones’ signature cocktail, Misunderstood, is a modern adaptation of the classic Moscow Mule, made with Del Maguey Mezcal Vida, Corralejo Reposado Tequila, Ginger Syrup, Honey Syrup, Fresh Lime Juice, muddled Cucumbers and Miller Highlife. The cocktail riff received so much national buzz for its creative yet approachable flavor profile that it has been mimicked by bartenders in London and will be added to a cocktail menu in Hong Kong.
Jones has helped Sable earn a plethora of national and international accolades, including: “10 Best Restaurant Bars in Chicago” by USA Today, “Best Hotel Bars” by Food & Wine and “Best Bars in America” by Esquire. His cocktail recipes have been featured in Men’s Journal, Travel & Leisure, Imbibe and Wine Enthusiast.