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7 Chef and Staff Shuffles to Know at Chicago Restaurants and Bars

Changes at the Alinea Group, Tesori, and more

New Tesori chef Carlos Ysaguirre

THE LOOP—A new executive chef is at the helm at Theatre District Italian restaurant Tesori. Carlos Ysaguirre, formerly the chef at Anteprima in Andersonville, is launching a new fall menu in mid-October that will feature eggplant caponata with sweet and sour Sicilian relish, capers, and pine nuts; duck breast saltimbocca with butternut squash, apples, Brussels sprouts, saba; and other new dishes. The restaurant’s popular Neapolitan pizzas will remain.

FULTON MARKET—The longtime director of service for the world-renowned Alinea Group’s Next Restaurant, The Aviary and Roister is out. Chris Gerber, who helmed the service for Nick Kokonas and Grant Achatz for nearly five years and was the subject of this feature in 2011, has been replaced by existing managers who have shifted into new responsibilities, according to Nick Kokonas. "Chris was a great service professional and with us for many years," Kokonas says. "We received dozens of complimentary emails from clients about his warm service over the years and that will no doubt be missed."

MAGNIFICENT MILE—The forthcoming Conrad Chicago Hotel, which will include two highly-anticipated restaurants and a rooftop bar by high-profile chef Richard Sandoval, has hired its hotel executive chef and executive pastry chef. Nathan Volz, a longtime veteran of the Ritz-Carlton brand, will oversee all restaurant and bar staff at the hotel; while Anistar Griffith, who was an executive pastry chef at Charlie Trotter’s in addition to extensive hotel experience, will run the pastry kitchens. Executive chef James Lintelmann will run the three public concepts: Baptiste & Bottle, Noyane, and Il Tavolino.

LOGAN SQUARE/LINCOLN PARK—With more expansion on the horizon, chef-driven juice bar Owen + Alchemy has brought on a chef de cuisine to run the food and beverage for Anne Owen and Jared Van Camp. Gabe Lava, who has experience at Lula Cafe, Spiaggia and Bonsoiree, will also run new locations such as the forthcoming spot at the Lawrence House in Uptown. [UPDATE: Jared Van Camp is no longer a partner at Owen + Alchemy, as a rep says they "parted ways amicably." Lava has replaced him.]

New Owen + Alchemy chef de cuisine Gabe Lava
Maria Ponce

STREETERVILLE—A new man is in charge of the wine program that compliments Julia Momose’s acclaimed cocktails at GreenRiver. Alex Smith, formerly of BellyQ, Eno Wine Room, and more is that man, and he’s planning some changes to the wines there soon.

WEST LOOP—Eden, the forthcoming restaurant from Paramount Events at 1748 W. Lake St., has hired a pedigreed sommelier and general manager. Arif Rahman worked at Gordon, David Burke’s Primehouse, and others during a career that has spanned a quarter-century.

LAS VEGAS—Jam chef-owner Jeff Mauro will be running Las Vegas restaurant Honey Salt, Eater Las Vegas reports. Jam remains open and Mauro has worked at Vegas restaurants before.

The Aviary

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

Owen + Alchemy

2355 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 227-3444


259 E Erie St Fl 18, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 337-0101

Conrad Chicago

101 E Erie St, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 667-6700 Visit Website

Lawrence House

1020 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

Next Restaurant

953 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 312 226 0858 Visit Website


2853 North Kedzie Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 292-6011 Visit Website


951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 789-4896


65 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 786-9911 Visit Website