Merrick grew up in Kansas City, and has loved food from a very young age, helping to prepare food for his family, and using the holidays to attempt to replicate some of the exotic sweets he read about in French club.
At 16, he had a part time job at the candy counter at Dean and Deluca, which exposed him to culinary treats from around the world, both sweet and savory. Merrick moved to Chicago during high school and began working as a host at a French seafood restaurant where he would learn more about the culinary precision of french cooking, as well as the world of fine wine. Merrick went to Depaul University for his undergrad and has a degree in Public Policy and a minor in Art and Design, but having worked at other chef-driven restaurants during his tenure at college, he began to realize that his passion was really in food and wine and people.
Merrick joined the Barbara Lynch Gruppo at Menton in 2013 as a front-server, and later became a Captain there, in addition to taking over the cheese program. Cheese is one of his greatest passions and he loves exploring the local specialties everywhere he has traveled. In 2014, Merrick visited the Gruyere region with friends from Formaggio Kitchen and toured the cheese making facilities, as well as the cheese aging caves inside of a mountain in the alps. During his time at Menton, he also began to study wine more in depth, and began to travel to wineries, learning more about the craft of the winemaker as both farmer and artisan. So far Merrick has explored wineries in France, Germany, Northern Italy and Sicily, Burgundy and Jura in France, as well as in the Alpine valleys of Switzerland. In the fall of 2014 Merrick worked the harvest in Wuerttemberg, a unique experience he is looking forward to repeating many times.
In the summer of 2014, Merrick extended his work within the Barbara Lynch Gruppo to Stir, where he gets to share all of his passion for food and wine with guests. It makes Merrick happy to get people to try new things to fall in love with, and to explore culinary delights in an intimate setting.