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Josh Linton Out as Executive Chef of Aja at the Dana Hotel

After two-plus years helming the kitchen at the one-time pan Asian steakhouse ajasteak that morphed simply into aja last year, Executive Chef Joshua Linton has exited his post.

Linton, who spent time with Takashi Yagihasi at Tribute in Detroit and with Floyd Cardoz at New York's Tabla, said he's moving on to explore other opportunities, including restaurant consulting gigs and focusing more attention on his spice business, available at Joshua Tree: Spice Studio. He currently has six handcrafted spices and blends, including hickory smoked Brazilian sea salt and Aleppo chili rub, which is common in Syrian cooking.

Linton is also working on a cookbook that focuses on his love of globally-inspired cuisine. He said that much of the book is completed and many of the photos have been shot.

"The book will focus on my love and fascination with ethnic cooking from around the world and how similar ingredients are prepared differently from one culture to another," Linton wrote in an email. "I believe the essence of good food begins with a sense of cultural pride and a desire to pay respect to our heritage by sharing soulful cooking and the pleasures of the table."

As for aja, it is unclear who will now head the kitchen at the Dana Hotel's restaurant. Calls to hotel's owner and general manager hadn't been returned at press time. We'll keep you posted on any updates we get.

UPDATE: Liana Clark, director of sales and marketing for the hotel, let us know they are currently in the process of filling Linton's role as executive chef for aja, and said, "We're really grateful to [Linton's] two-and-a-half years and his contribution to aja and the Dana Hotel and Spa. We wish him well on all of his future endeavors."

Joshua Linton [Photo: StarChefs]


660 N. State St., Chicago, IL