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Hogsalt Development Chef Heads to Aviary; STK Hires LEYE Corporate Exec Chef

Grant Achatz's cocktail bar and the forthcoming "female-friendly" steakhouse make noteworthy hires.

Gerald Smith
Gerald Smith
Anjali Pinto

FULTON MARKET—Former Alinea chef de cuisine Jeff Pikus is back with Grant Achatz and company after a few years opening restaurants for Brendan Sodikoff. Pikus, who was opening executive chef at Maude's Liquor Bar and ran High Five Ramen before finishing up with Hogsalt three months ago, is currently working at The Aviary. Current Aviary chef Andrew Brochu is heading next door to open Roister soon, but Nick Kokonas writes that "we have many projects and opportunities" and Pikus' longterm role is currently undecided. Stay tuned. [EaterWire]

RIVER NORTH—STK, the swanky "female-friendly" steakhouse and lounge chain, has its executive chef for its forthcoming Chicago location at 360 N. State Street. Gerald Smith, who worked under Mario Batali and Jean Georges Vongerichten before becoming the corporate executive chef for Lettuce Entertain You, is that chef. Reps say it's too soon to say whether Smith will change or add any dishes to the Chicago menu; other STK menus include "Shrimp Rice Krispies," "Foie Gras French Toast," and small, medium and large portions of steak. It's slated to open sometime this summer. [EaterWire] [UPDATE: A rep says that the menu items mentioned above are no longer available at STK locations, and current STK menus are not available online.]

The Aviary

955 N. Morgan St & W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 Visit Website