Embeya, a partnership between international hospitality veteran, Attila Gyulai (Elysian Hotel Chicago, Four Seasons worldwide) and his Wife Komal Patel (Milborne Real Estate) opened in 2012 and has quickly become a favoured dining destination for refined Asian cuisine in Chicago's West Loop. With the help of nationally acclaimed executive chef Mike Sheerin, Embeya aims to creatively re-tool the ubiquitous Asian concept, developing dishes based on a range of Asian ingredients, flavors and textures integrated with French technique. Embeya offers a progressive Asian menu in an approachable yet chic space designed by 555 International lead designer Karen Herold (Girl and the Goat, GT Fish, Balena). Spearheaded by Director Attila Gyulai, the Embeya wine progream features 300 esocteric, hand-selected labels all driven by the same approach and ethos behind the cuisine and space-well balanced, layered, and delicate.
Attila brings more than 15 years of international food and beverage experience to Embeya, as well as his enduring commitment to providing great food, wine, and service. Although ethnically Hungarian, Attila grew up in Transylvania, where his childhood revolved around the dinner table. His mother was an amazing home cook, and his family had been producing table wine for centuries. This powerful culinary legacy set the stage for Attila’s future interests in food and hospitality. He pursued both passions simultaneously when he was part of the Four Seasons team for 11 years (Santa Barbara, Provence, Seattle, Budapest, Bahamas), honing his leadership skills and learning the meaning of great service and brand integrity. His experience in an array of interesting locations gave him an incomparable understanding of different cuisines and restaurant operations around the world.
After his tenure at the Four Seasons, Attila joined the team at the Elysian Hotel Chicago in 2008. As director of operations, he was not only in charge of hiring, training, and mentoring, but also instrumental in creating the concepts for RIA and Balsan restaurants. Under his supervision, RIA earned two Michelin stars, and the hotel won the Triple A Five Diamond and numerous Best Hotel in North America awards. Attila brings with him an incredible passion for food, wine and hospiality which he infuses into every aspect of the operation.
Director of Sales + Marketing
As director of sales and marketing, Komal brings a unique point of view to the Embeya team. Growing up in Zambia, Komal’s food education began early and ranged from the flavors of traditional Indian cuisine to the exotic fruits that could only be grown in a central African climate. Combining her adventurous palate and love for food with her background in real estate development, Komal oversees the restaurant’s daily operations.
Most recently, she was director of sales at Milborne Real Instate Inc., a top boutique real estate sales and marketing brokerage based in Toronto. It was there that Komal honed her ability to build relationships and see a project through from start to finish. In 2012, she seamlessly translated this passion to developing the Embeya concept. From assisting with the business plan and coordinating various creative teams to spearheading the accounts, purchasing, and human resources, Komal works hand-in-hand with her Husband Attila Gyulai to realize their common vision for the restaurant.
Michael Sheerin attended culinary school at Grand Rapids Community College before moving to New York to launch his career. He gained invaluable hands-on experience in the kitchens of Lutèce, Atlas, and Jean-Georges. Sheerin further honed his skills as sous chef under acclaimed chef Wylie Dufresne at WD-50 for nearly four years.
Upon returning to his hometown in the Midwest, Sheerin became the first-ever chef de cuisine under James Beard award-winning chef Paul Kahan at Michelin Star-rated Blackbird. Soon thereafter, Sheerin was recognized as one of ten "Best New Chefs" in the country by Food & Wine Magazine in 2010. He most recently collaborated with industry veteran Dan Rosenthal to open Cicchetti, a Venetian-inspired small plate concept in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. During his time as Executive Chef at Cicchetti, Sheerin explored clean, ingredient-focused interpretations of classic Italian cuisine.
At Embeya, Sheerin offers a progressive yet approachable menu of delicately nuanced, flavorful dishes inspired by the many distinct regional cuisines found throughout Asia. Like owners Attila Gyulai and Komal Patel, Sheerin prioritizes evolution, innovation, and creativity in the kitchen and incorporates local and exotic ingredients alike in his imaginative, well-balanced fare.