Erick Williams

Chef & Founder, Virtue Hospitality Group

It is with inimitable persistence, passion and drive to propel today’s dining experience that Erick Williams – Founder of Virtue Hospitality Group which includes Virtue Restaurant & Bar, Mustard Seed Kitchen, Daisy’s Po-Boy and Tavern and Top This Mac and Cheese – has carved a special niche in the restaurant industry.

Opened in November 2018, Virtue is Williams’ first solo concept, and is nestled in the heart of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood, located on Chicago’s south side. The restaurant combines Williams’ love of Southern cuisine and his insatiable study of history and art as they relate to food culture. Williams and Virtue have been featured in a host of local and national media and in 2022 he was named Best Chef: Great Lakes by the James Beard Foundation making history as the first Black chef to win in this category.

In November 2021, inspired by his experience providing takeout only during the pandemic, Williams opened Mustard Seed Kitchen in Chicago, a takeout and delivery-only concept featuring a menu of high-quality approachable meals. Less than a year later in August 2022, Williams’ third concept, Daisy’s Po-Boy and Tavern which evokes the vibrancy of New Orleans through its most celebrated sandwich, opened in Hyde Park just steps away from Virtue. Months after Daisy’s opened, Williams collaborated with Virtue Chef de Cuisine Damarr Brown to open Top This, a delivery and takeout concept offering a variety of delectable mac and cheeses with delicious toppings.

As a natural mentor, Williams continues to give back to his industry and community with the creation of Virtue Leadership Development, a not-for-profit incubator created to serve as a vehicle to equip local young adults of color with the necessary skills to learn value-driven entrepreneurship through training at the restaurant.