In a surprising twist after news hit yesterday that Café Spiaggia closed for renovations, Spiaggia's executive chef Chris Marchino is moving on (his last day is June 1) and chef/partner Tony Mantuano will helm the kitchen full-time, according to the Chicago Tribune. Marchino, who started at Spiaggia as a line cook in 2008 and took over the kitchen from Sarah Grueneberg in November 2013, has taken a job as chef de cuisine at San Francisco's Cotogna under Michael Tusk.
Mantuano intends on beefing up his team by hiring both a new sous chef and a new pastry chef in Marchino's absence, and expects to focus solely on Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia for the next six-to-twelve months.
As for Marchino, he, along with Spiaggia assistant general manager Alexandra Barton, will begin working at Cotogna in early June. "Spiaggia has been my home for so long that it's definitely hard to leave," Marchino writes, "but there is never a perfect time." He adds that "chef Tony has been an incredible mentor and teacher. I'll look back on my years at Spiaggia with great fondness."
An additional reveal is news that Spiaggia's private dining areas will get a makeover once Café Spiaggia is complete. As for the café, Mantuano is aiming to separate it from the dining room more and to approach the café concept more literally, keeping it "as Italian as possible."