Olivia Noren still recalls the moment she became enthralled by the hospitality industry. It all began when her Lincoln Park High School Academic Decathlon team was invited for a meal at Charlie Trotter’s.

olivia noren

Noren had never felt so important and cared for in her life. The attention to detail and service was impeccable and the experience helped to shape her philosophy about both hospitality as well as life: treat others how you would like to be treated. For Noren, gaining experience at restaurants in New York City and Chicago has helped her add dimension to this foundation and propelled her career to in a multitude of ways.

After graduating from Trinity College, Noren moved to New York City to explore her newfound passion for hospitality. She began on the opening team at Corton, eventually working her way up the ranks at Per Se and Eleven Madison Park. She ended her New York City run at Le Bernardin where she became a sommelier. Originally from Chicago, Noren decided to move back to her roots and closer to her family. Upon returning to the city, she started on the opening bar team at Proxi and most recently Sepia where she worked as the assistant sommelier.

As Yūgen’s Beverage Director, Noren hopes to highlight the amazing dedication of chef Katsumara and the talented Yūgen team by creating a beverage menu that showcases their hard work in the best way possible. She will match their skill and talent with ingredients that will enhance the dining experience of the guest. Outside of her work at the restaurant, Noren enjoys exploring everything the city has to offer and enjoying delicious food all while spending time with her family, friends and cats.