Renowed Top Chef Matthias Merges cooking at Natalie's on June 4th

By Camden Harbour Inn | May 18, 2019
Photo by: courtesy of Matthias Merges
Matthias Merges is the chef and proprietor of Folkart Restaurant Management, a craft-driven hospitality group focused on operational excellence, state of the art design and a deep-seated commitment to locally sourced ingredients. Some consider him to be one of the most famous chefs in the U.S. — and on June 4th he's coming to Camden to join the Natalie's team for one night only, to design a 5-course dinner, priced at $138.

Matthias Merges is the chef and proprietor of Folkart Restaurant Management, a craft-driven hospitality group focused on operational excellence, state of the art design and a deep-seated commitment to locally sourced ingredients. Founded in 2010, the conceptually diverse organization includes Hyde Park neighborhood eatery A10, award-winning cocktail bar Billy Sunday, Wrigley Park beer pub Lucky Dorr, craft brew house Old Irving Brewing, West Loop bar and small plates destination Gideon Sweet, and cocktail bar and restaurant Mordecai in Wrigleyville.

Merges began working in restaurants at the age of 14 and formalized his training at the Culinary Institute of America. He went on to refine his skills and direction at iconic Chicago restaurants including Carlos’, the 95th, LaTour at the Park Hyatt, Charlie Trotter’s and Gabriel’s. Inspired by the leadership and enriching experiences of these kitchens, Merges opened Metropolitan in Salt Lake City as chef and co-owner. Metropolitan received several accolades, including “Best Restaurant Inter-Mountain West” and a nomination at the James Beard Awards. Merges was lured back to Charlie Trotter’s from Metropolitan and spent the next 14 years directing all culinary, service and strategic operations.

A longtime contributor to Chicago’s culinary and hospitality community, Merges is deeply passionate about giving back and leveraging the industry’s resources for philanthropy. He is the co-founder of Pilot Light, a locally-based charity that connects chefs and teachers, using food to support effective classroom teaching and learning.

Merges is the proud husband of fcSTUDIO designer Rachel Crowl and father to Kaitie, Gretl and Tatum. In his free time, he’s an amateur photographer and climber. For reasons unclear to everyone else, he studies sailing routes and oceanic currents but doesn’t own a boat.

Relais and Chateaux Camden Harbour Inn also offers overnight packages starting at $320 per person, based on double occupancy. A portion of the evening's proceeds will go to the Charlie Trotter Project. You're invited to join us. Reserve today at 207-236-4200. For dinner reservations please call 207 236 7008 or visit us at for online reservations.

Matthias Merges worked under Charlie Trotter for 14 years. The Trotter Project is Chef Charlie Trotter’s philosophical legacy. A philosophy which embodies the idea that excellence and purpose are best achieved through service to others.



Charlie Trotter the chef changed the world of cooking through his Michelin-starred restaurant. Charlie Trotter the teacher had an even broader reach as a mentor who fostered a generation of world-class chefs, while also welcoming high school students into his kitchen to learn the art of excellence in service.
Chef Trotter opened his namesake restaurant in 1987. During its 25-year tenure, the kitchen welcomed over 800 aspiring cooks. Many cite Charlie Trotter for cultivating the discipline, skill and curiosity integral to their culinary careers. These include Matthias Merges, Bill Kim, David LeFevre, Mindy Segal, Giuseppe Tentori, Christian Ramos, Michael Taus,  David Myers, Jesse Dunford-Wood and many more from across the country and around the world who have each gone on to open their own successful restaurants.
Charlie Trotter lives on through The Trotter Project, a hub for youth engagement, programming and events. None of this is possible without generous donations from lovers of the culinary community who believe, like Chef Trotter, “One of the most beautiful things that I can do for you—or that any one of us can do for another—is to serve each other.”


Matthias Merges and Chris Long

For the Charlie Trotter Project

Natalie's June 4 2019


Course 1

Lightly Cured Salmon. Radish. Lemongrass. Seaweed


Course 2

Poached Maine Lobster, Galangal, Turmeric and Coconut



Course 3

Grilled Belon Oysters, Crispy Pig Ears, Lavender and Iberico Ham Broth



Course 4

20 Day Aged Rouen Duck, Ume Boshi Glaze, Ramp, Fermented Burdock and Foie Gras Crumpet


Course 5

Intermezzo of Rose, Tea and Honey



Japanese Cheesecake. Strawberries. Spruce. Lime


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