Nico Osteria's pastry chef Amanda Rockman, the esteemed Beard-award semi-finalist, is moving to Austin, Texas. Her last day will be May 28 at One Off Hospitality's Italian restaurant on the Gold Coast. Rockman, whose birthday was last week, joined Nico in 2013.
The Trib's Phil Vettel first reported the news that she's returning to her native Texas. Rockman's leaving to helm pastries at The South Congress Hotel in Austin. Here's the full statement from One Off Hospitality, whose Donnie Madia last week won the Beard Award for best restauranteur:
After a year and a half with One Off Hospitality Group and Nico Osteria, pastry chef Amanda Rockman will be relocating to Austin, Texas to return to her roots and be close to family. While we will miss her dearly, we look forward to the future of Nico Osteria's pastry program and what is surely a sweet future for Amanda. Please stop by through June 15 to say goodbye to Amanda.
Rockman's resume includes 12 years at Chicago restaurants with stints at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise's L20 and Boka Restaurant Group's The Bristol and Balena. Rockman's new gig is at The South Congress Hotel, a boutique hotel that will house multiple restaurants in Austin when it opens later this summer. The restaurants include Central Standard, a bar and grill serving American food, and Café No Sé, both headed by executive chef Michael Paley. There's also Otoko, a 12-seat Japanese restaurant from Beard-winner Paul Qui.
One Off has begun a search for Rickman's replacement at Nico, a restaurant group spokeswoman added.