Robert Et Fils, which is pronounced “Robair Ay Feese” and translates to “Robert and son,” is named for Chef Shaner’s late father, whose job took the family from the Midwest to France. Joining him are Pastry Chef Cati Molnar and General Manager Rami Ezzat, who grew up in Paris and coincidentally attended the same high school as Shaner in Paris—they discovered this while working together across the world in Chicago. The small, close-knit team is working to offer thoughtful, elevated service amid the current takeout-focused climate.
Shaner is the owner and executive chef at Robert Et Fils, and the restaurant is named for and inspired by Shaner’s deceased father, Bob Shaner. While living in France with his family during his formative years, Rob and his father both took on the more easily pronounced French first name Robert. Robert Et Fils, designed by Siren Betty (Giant, Good Measure, Celeste), is pronounced “Robair Ay Feese” in French, and it translates to “Robert and Son” in English.
Shaner dreamed for years about opening a restaurant that captures the unique experience of a bygone era of dining in France. While Shaner’s cooking is deeply grounded in nostalgia, he also thrives on the freedom of reinterpreting food using modern techniques and, at times, utilizing non-traditional ingredient pairings.
“This is a very personal restaurant for me, and I want guests to feel like they're going into a wormhole when they enter Robert Et Fils. It should feel like a warm and welcoming escape into another time and place. Much of the food will be influenced by my travels with my father in France as well as old French menu archives.”
CHEF ROB SHANER
With a penchant for crafting seasonal dishes, Rob Shaner helms the kitchen of Homestead on the Roof as the Executive Chef, curating the menu of West Town’s farm-to-table dining destination under the Fifty/50 Group umbrella. Drawn to cuisine with clean, bright flavors, and minimal components, Shaner curates the menu of Homestead on the Roof with simple, yet masterful technique and creativity.
A traveler by nature, Shaner resided in several locations around the world during his upbringing, including southern Missouri, Chicago, Dallas, Texas, and Paris, France. Moving to Paris as a teenager, Shaner discovered his passion for cooking, fully immersing himself in the Parisian food world. Respecting and understanding the “ritual of eating” so much more thanks to his time in France,
Shaner’s culinary adventures flew him from Paris to New York, where he spent nine years refining his craft. Crediting his hands-on experiences as his most valued education to date, career highlights include working alongside Chef John Manion at Branch 27, Chef Chris Pandel at The Bristol, and Chef Ryan Poli at Little Market Brasserie. Originally joining The Fifty/50 Group team as the Sous Chef of West Town Bakery & Diner and Homestead on the Roof, collaborating with then Executive Chef Chris Davies, Shaner today settles into his new role as the Executive Chef and leads the kitchen with his dedication to a true farm-to-table, sustainable experience.
CHEF CATI MOLNAR
Cati Molnar is the executive pastry chef at Robert Et Fils. Cati creates the breads and desserts for the restaurant and is instrumental in helping craft the overall menu with chef/owner Rob Shaner.
Cati and Rob both worked together previously at The Kennison – which is Boka Group restaurant in Lincoln Park.
Immediately prior to joining Robert Et Fils, Cati worked as a pastry chef at the acclaimed pastry shop Lost Larsen in Chicago. Lost
Larsen’s owner Bobby Schaffer was previously pastry chef at three Michelin star Grace restaurant in Chicago.