UPDATE: The award-winning chef who went missing has been found. Police have not released any further details.
CHICAGO — A noteworthy Chicago chef with a new son at home has gone missing.
Wilson Bauer, 34, was last seen about 11 a.m. Thursday in the 800 block of North Hermitage Avenue, according to the Chicago Police Department. Friends and family said he disappeared without his wallet or phone.
Those close to Bauer said they’re frantic for answers because the situation is out of character for him.
“We don’t want to assume the worst, but we don’t know if something happened,” said Alice Richter, Bauer’s partner in business and life. The couple has a 3-month-old baby. “We don’t know if he hurt himself. We don’t know. We just want him home.”
The only clue to Bauer’s disappearance, friends said, is that he was likely wearing hiking boots when he went missing. Bauer likes to forage for cooking herbs in nearby forest preserves.
Bauer and Richter recently opened an underground fine-dining venue. Before that, Bauer worked at Grace, Elizabeth and Schwa.
Bauer is 6 feet, 1 inch tall, and weighs 210 pounds. He is white with blue eyes and brown hair; he is balding. According to police, he was likely wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans and gray-brown boots. He wears black plastic glasses and could be carrying a black backpack. He has a full beard and tattoos on both arms, as well as his calf. He is known to frequent the Pilsen neighborhood.
“He is the kindest, sweetest, smartest man I know,” Richter said, “and he’s a really great father. We have two boys here who are just really excited to have him home.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 312-747-8380.