More change is coming to David Burke's Chicago restaurants and a little bit of the mystery of the upcoming Virgin Hotel is being revealed. Rick Gresh, Burke's seven-year executive chef at Primehouse at the James Hotel, is leaving his post on June 1 to "pursue a new project" at Sir Richard Branson's under-construction Chicago hotel on June 9, Virgin representatives confirm.
Neither camp has confirmed what that exact position is or who will take over for Gresh at Primehouse.
This news comes on the heels of Burke's Bacon Bar shuttering next door at the James eight days ago and the confirmation in February that the upcoming Virgin Hotel Chicago will in fact house "restaurants and lounges." Gresh gained multiple accolades for his work at Primehouse, including Chicago Magazine naming it the best steakhouse in Chicago last year. But now he's leaving—for another hotel group. The Chicago Virgin Hotel is slated to open in the fall; stay tuned.
· All David Burke's Primehouse Coverage [-ECHI-]
· All Rick Gresh Coverage [-ECHI-]
· Virgin Hotel Restaurants [-ECHI-]
UPDATE: Stephen Blackford, The James Chicago general manager, provided this statement on Gresh's departure:
"We'd like to thank Rick for his dedication and seven years of service to The James Chicago and David Burke's Primehouse. We are extremely proud of his achievements as our Executive Chef and he will be missed greatly. Rick will always be a member of The James family and we wish him success in all his future endeavors."
James representatives say that Burke will also provide a comment "shortly."
UPDATE: Here is Burke's statement:
"Chef Rick Gresh has been an essential part of David Burke Primehouse. Rick is one of the best chefs I've ever worked with over the past 30 years of cooking. He is an extremely talented individual and we wish him much success. He will certainly be missed and we appreciate all of his hard work and dedication over the years."