The start of the holiday season has brought changes at two of Chicago's best-regarded restaurants, as Big Star and NoMi Kitchen have new chefs de cuisine.
Big Star brass has named Julie Warpinski its new chef de cuisine, replacing Tom Van Lente. The latter departed in October for the executive chef post at White Oak Tavern. Warpinski, who ran the catering business for One Off Hospitality's taco and whiskey hot spot in Wicker Park, is Big Star's third chef de cuisine in three years.
Warpinski told Zagat, which first reported the appointment, that she plans only small changes to Big Star's menu. Zagat mentioned grilled queso with poblano salsa and more vegetarian items.
Meanwhile, NoMi has imported Daniel Hoefler as its chef de cuisine, according to a restaurant statement. Hoefler is familiar with the Hyatt family, most recently working as chef de cuisine at Taiteur, the hotel's restaurant in Dubai. He also worked at hotels in Berlin, including the Grand Hyatt.