Chef Itaru Nagano started cooking at a Japanese restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin to relearn the language after moving from Japan to the US at the age of nine. After getting hooked into cooking, Nagano moved around the country making sushi and Japanese food. Nagano lived and cooked in Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix, then back to Madison before deciding that he wanted to go to culinary school. Nagano went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and graduated with honors. After culinary school, Nagano worked for James Beard Award winning chef Jose Andres in Washington, DC and continued on to work for James Beard Award winning chef Tom Colicchio as a Sous chef at the flagship restaurant Craft.
Nagano returned to Madison and worked at L’Etoile for over six years for James Beard Award winning chef Tory Miller, five years of which Nagano was the Chef de Cuisine. Nagano enjoys making simple food that is simple and not over complicated, but with good ingredients. The focus for Nagano is making the ingredients shine. At Fairchild, Nagano aims to bring fine dining back into casual, having really good food done the right way.
ANDY “JUNIOR” KROEGER:
Andrew Kroeger graduated from Le Cordon Bleu culinary academy in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. Kroeger then interned at Solera, a Spanish tapas restaurant in Minneapolis from James Beard Award winning Chef Tim Mckee before working at L’Etoile in Madison for over a year. Kroeger moved to Napa Valley to work at James Beard Award winning chef’s Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, a Michelin-star restaurant, where he became sous chef. Kroeger continued on to join his friends at Solbar, a Michelin-star restaurant at the resort Solage. After six years in Napa Valley, Kroeger returned to Madison to rejoin the kitchen at L’Etoile as sous chef where he worked with Chef Itaru Nagano for a year and a half. Kroeger went on to open Italic, a restaurant with the ELM Restaurant group, in Austin, Texas and spent five years working with ELM opening an Italic at Fareground Food Hall and developing and operating ELM catering.
With ambitions of opening his own restaurant, Kroeger returned to Madison to join Nagano in opening Fairchild. Kroeger and Nagano always talked about opening a place together and happened to find the perfect place on Monroe Street at just the right time. Hand made pasta has always been a passion for Kroeger, as well as whole animal butchering. Fairchild will have a pasta section on their menu and plan to purchase whole animals to use in a variety of ways in their dishes.