An Eater 38 restaurant is losing an Eater chef of the year award-winner. Jimmy Papadopoulos, the 2015 winner, is leaving acclaimed River North restaurant Bohemian House, according to a representative and Papadopoulos himself. His last day in the kitchen will be June 28, and the restaurant should announce a new chef soon.
In a statement, BoHo partner Dan Powell says that Papadopoulos is leaving to spend more time with his young family. You can read it in full below.
"In a desire to spend more time with his young family, Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos has decided to step down as executive chef of Bohemian House. We want to thank Chef Jimmy for everything he contributed to the restaurant, and we wish him all the best. We're so fortunate to be located in Chicago, a vibrant culinary city with great chef talent. We're looking forward to finding a new chef to continue the Bohemian House story. In the meantime, we've built a great team under Jimmy's tenure and customers can continue to expect the same great experience until a new executive chef is named."
Owned by first-time restaurateurs, Bohemian House opened in July 2014 and quickly became one of the best and most unlikely restaurant success stories in Chicago. Papadopoulos came in as a virtual unknown after working as a chef in suburban restaurants, and began serving chef-driven takes on Eastern European food in a TV-less environment that is in many ways the antithesis of the many clubstaurants that surround it in River North. In addition to the Eater award, BoHo earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand and Papadopoulos was named to Zagat's 30 under 30 list, among other accolades and strong reviews.
Reached by phone, Papadopoulos says he submitted his resignation on Tuesday, expanded on the statement and reiterated his desire to take a break and spend more time as a dad to his three young children, but says he'll be back in a restaurant kitchen soon. "It's a while coming—it's been such a grind," he says. "100 percent percent of my career has been focused on BoHo. It's time to focus on my family and myself for a bit, to sit back and think about who I am as a chef and what I want to do next. It's such a bittersweet decision — BoHo became extremely successful and I'm excited to see who they bring in next."
The restaurant will begin a new chapter soon under a new chef—stay tuned for that news. Also stay tuned for news on what Papadopoulos will do next, as he says that "I'm not done being a chef."