Welcome to Oak Park.
From the artful aesthetics to the carefully sourced garden ingredients. From the hand-selected wines and spirits to the hand-picked industry professionals. Explore everything that makes Oak Park so exceptional – and then come see it for yourself.
Iowa’s best wine program.
With more than 25 individual vintages, ranging as far back as 1990 and as recent as 2023, the wine program at Oak Park is meant to cover every great region and grape on earth. Our goal is to educate our diners while exposing them to wines they may not have tried but might absolutely love.
A transformative chef’s table experience.
When guests dine at the Chef’s Table, our hope is to transform their evening. As they discover each course and go through the experience, we want to give them a memory that is long lasting – a dish they will think about 20 years from now.
The neighborhood culinary garden.
Seasonal crops planted and plucked from our adjacent garden are pivotal ingredients found on our ever-evolving dinner menu. These unique and rich garden flavors inspire everyone from the chef team to the sommelier and our bar manager.
Spirits for every patron.
Patrons of the warm and welcoming Oak Park bar enjoy sipping classic cocktails or indulging in the bar manager’s uniquely crafted concoctions. Ingredients found in the garden inspire some of the flavor profiles found on the drink menu, or at least garnish the glass.
Meet our team of experts.
Oak Park is an inviting and refined experience in culinary recreation and impeccable service from the very best.
Born and raised in Mankato, Minnesota, Damon Murphy came to live in Iowa by way of Iowa State University. To put himself through school, he did what so many students find themselves doing, and…
Born and raised in Mankato, Minnesota, Damon Murphy came to live in Iowa by way of Iowa State University. To put himself through school, he did what so many students find themselves doing, and worked as a server in a local restaurant. What he didn’t expect to find, however, was a love affair with the industry. In the fall of his sophomore year, Damon changed his major to Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management.
Damon’s first professional job was working alongside a family friend who had 30+ years of industry experience – a man who took Damon under his wing and become a mentor. Both brash and complimenting, he taught Damon the profound importance and absolute value of attention to detail. From the architecturally inspired table settings to the gold standard in sommelier skills, Damon treats every guest at Oak Park to a master class in why the details matter.
Ian Robertson’s fascination with food started at an early age. When he was four years old and living in Malaysia, his family frequented the street markets, lined with vendors selling spices and…
Ian Robertson’s fascination with food started at an early age. When he was four years old and living in Malaysia, his family frequented the street markets, lined with vendors selling spices and indigenous foods. It was customary to purchase a live chicken and take it to the butcher to be dressed while gathering the remaining groceries for that night’s meal. Ian’s family spent several years living in other countries, including Scotland, Benin, and France. Every place provided a renewed interest in food and how different cultures prepare dishes. Something as universal as chicken can be done thousands of ways.
In 2005, Ian began his formal training at Gregoire Ferrandi Paris, an internationally recognized school of culinary arts. The following year, he moved to Bray just outside London and worked as a Culinary Stagiaire at The Fat Duck alongside chef Leandros Stagogiannis. It was there that chef Stagogiannis taught Ian how to open his mind, question everything, and create with love. After a year of traveling, Ian came stateside and landed at Chicago’s prestigious two-Michelin-starred fine dining establishment – Tru. As Chef de Partie, Ian worked under chef Anthony Martin who Ian credits with teaching him how to stay calm in the heat of service and pushing him to help others in the kitchen. Ian spent the next several years in Chicago, rapidly working his way up in the kitchen.
From 2012 to 2016, Ian oversaw the back of the house operations at a variety of establishments in Iowa, honing his skills in menu and recipe development. It was also during that time that Ian met his significant other, Jess, an aspiring pastry chef. In 2017, after Jess returned from working at Eleven Madison Park in New York, it was Ian’s turn in The Big Apple. This time, Jess took care of their kids while Ian took on the role of Executive Sous Chef at abc kitchen. A year later, a move to Chicago landed the couple at the landmark Deer Path Inn on the city’s prestigious North Shore – Ian as the Executive Sous Chef and Jess as Pastry Consultant.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
As an Iowa native, Billy Dohrmann grew up learning about vegetable gardening from his grandparents who worked a farm in the eastern part of the state. This appreciation for food and where it comes…
As an Iowa native, Billy Dohrmann grew up learning about vegetable gardening from his grandparents who worked a farm in the eastern part of the state. This appreciation for food and where it comes from translated naturally to the restaurant industry. As a student in Des Moines, Billy worked at a casual local restaurant for a short stint. Soon after, he moved to Los Angeles for a post-high school education in the film production industry. After leaving southern California and spending a couple of years in Chicago, Billy returned to Des Moines and to the restaurant scene.
It was while working in the fine dining realm that Billy discovered a deeper appreciation for food and the culinary arts. He also discovered his passion for genuine hospitality and the art of service. It’s these meaningful skills that he brings to the daily operations of Oak Park.
But it’s his roots in eastern Iowa that make Billy uniquely qualified to plan and work the restaurant’s onsite garden.
Born and raised in Des Moines, a young 14-year-old Sam Tuttle got his start in the restaurant business washing dishes at J. Benjamins. From that early age, Sam knew which industry he wanted to…
Born and raised in Des Moines, a young 14-year-old Sam Tuttle got his start in the restaurant business washing dishes at J. Benjamins. From that early age, Sam knew which industry he wanted to pursue. He began by moving to Colorado for a career in beer, but a job at the Sonnenalp Resort in Vail, Colorado soon found him following the world of wine. In 2013, while working for the Frasca Hospitality Group in Boulder, Sam became a certified sommelier. Shortly after, he moved to Chicago and cut his teeth in the Windy City as Team Captain for Next. Sam spent the following few years steadily growing his career, becoming beverage manager for Eataly Chicago in 2016, and then the sommelier at Flagstaff House during a return to Boulder, Colorado.
EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF
Growing up, Jess would occasionally help out at her mom’s restaurant – Dunners in Sheldon, Iowa. Jess expanded her baking skills by learning pastries in such fine dining restaurants as Baru 66 in…
Growing up, Jess would occasionally help out at her mom’s restaurant – Dunners in Sheldon, Iowa. Jess expanded her baking skills by learning pastries in such fine dining restaurants as Baru 66 in Windsor Heights. It was there that she met husband and Executive Chef Ian Robertson.
Having spent time honing her craft, and starting a family, Jess eventually mustered up enough courage to apply to Michelin-starred restaurants, including Thomas Keller establishments, and the critically acclaimed Eleven Madison Park in New York City. Jess accepted a position at Eleven Madison Park, but had to go alone. Unable to afford the move with the whole family, Ian stayed back and took care of their two children.
After leaving Eleven Madison Park, and having their third baby, Jess moved to Scotland with all three kids and her mother-in-law. She worked at The Peat Inn, another Michelin-starred restaurant, located near St. Andrews. At the same time, Ian was working and growing his culinary career in New York City. After years of mutual sacrifice and long distances, the family reunited in Chicago. Jess went back to school earning a business degree while simultaneously teaching herself how to temper chocolate. This led the cake-decorater-turned-pastry-chef to start a small chocolate operation out of their apartment.
Now at Oak Park, Jess delights diners with desserts that are as luxurious as they are lovely to look at with flavors that are familiar yet totally unexpected. Her epic confections are pieces of art and, as you might have guessed, are the perfect punctuation to anything Ian makes.
Ryan Chindlund was born in Le Mars, Iowa, “The Ice Cream Capital of the World.” Shortly after, his family moved to Okoboji, Iowa – a small town nine months of the year, and Iowa’s version of the…
Ryan Chindlund was born in Le Mars, Iowa, “The Ice Cream Capital of the World.” Shortly after, his family moved to Okoboji, Iowa – a small town nine months of the year, and Iowa’s version of the Hamptons during the three months of summer. At the age of 14, Ryan got his first summer restaurant gig as a dishwasher. He immediately fell in love with the people, the food, the industry. Every summer after that, he worked in local bar-and-grills, but during the off-season he would travel finding inspiration in the new dishes being served at area restaurants.
His decision to pursue the culinary profession led Ryan to the Iowa Culinary Institute where Chef Karla Boetel gave him the confidence to cook with passion and instilled a hunger for improvement. Later, Ryan honed his fine dining skills working under Chef Shawn Bennigsdorf at Aposto in Des Moines, learning to work hard and have a good time doing it. He values the clean and honest flavors of Japanese cuisine, the richness and hospitality of French dining, and the layers of complex taste and spice of Mexican food – a staple fare when Ryan’s not in the kitchen.
Now at Oak Park, Ryan is exploring ways to infuse his favorite culinary techniques into new dishes and experiences. With the Chef’s Table as his stage, his creativity and energy will be on full display.
Jarred jokes that having a high metabolism and being hungry is what led him to pursue the culinary industry – a path he nearly discontinued early in his career. Turns out, working in the kitchen…
Jarred jokes that having a high metabolism and being hungry is what led him to pursue the culinary industry – a path he nearly discontinued early in his career. Turns out, working in the kitchen at a bar in downtown Des Moines was not the motivation he needed. But when an opportunity at the award-winning, upscale neighborhood restaurant Alba surfaced, Jarred reconsidered. With a couple of local chefs at the helm, it was their creativity and organization that inspired Jarred to continue down the chef path. Mentor Chef Lynn Pritchard, a well-respected member of the industry, later set Jarred up with short stages at such acclaimed restaurants as Stone Barns and Flora Street Café.
Now a sous chef at Oak Park, Jarred is putting the restaurant’s state-of-the-art kitchen equipment to the test. With the Chef’s Table as his focus, Jarred is pushing his creative freedom to new levels, no doubt satisfying a long-standing insatiable culinary hunger.
Richard’s passion for the restaurant industry can best be summed up by a series of very fortunate events. An Iowa native, Richard moved to Las Vegas when he was 21 and needed a job. Luckily, the…
Richard’s passion for the restaurant industry can best be summed up by a series of very fortunate events. An Iowa native, Richard moved to Las Vegas when he was 21 and needed a job. Luckily, the restaurant where his cousin worked was looking for a busser. On his first night, Richard got to help take care of Dennis Hopper and his wife. His second restaurant job was with a brand-new establishment – an experience that solidified his enthusiasm for opening new shops. Richard’s love of food is recalled in the rack of lamb at The Blue Lion in Jackson, Wyoming; the cioppino at Ray’s Waterfront in Alaska; the High Mountain Trout with Sauco berries at an unsuspecting side-street café in Cusco, Peru; the impromptu Thanksgiving potluck on his first night in Los Barriles, Mexico, with 15 friends he had never met before; his grandma’s Christmas Eve oyster stew and chili; his other grandma’s homemade biscotti. These places, dishes, and people have stuck with Richard over the years. But it’s the event that took place in 2022 that altered the course of his life.
For the last 20 years, Richard had been living in Omaha, now bartending at a well-revered restaurant in the city’s Old Market neighborhood. One night, regulars Kathy and Bill came in for dinner and told Richard their plans to open a restaurant. It was then that Kathy asked if Richard wanted to move to Des Moines. Realizing they were serious, Richard was faced with a big decision and opportunity. He recalls asking the couple why they wanted to get into the restaurant industry. Within five seconds of hearing their vision and the passion with which they spoke, Richard was hook, line, and sinker.
Running the bar program at Oak Park is like mixing a well-crafted drink. Richard blends his thoughtful understanding of what the Oak Park team is striving to accomplish, the hospitality skills he learned from a gentleman named Orloff, and the personal desire to be part of something truly remarkable. They are equal parts of an important whole – Oak Park – and what Richard describes as a thing of beauty.