After more than three years helming the kitchens at both Takito modern Mexican restaurants in Wicker Park and the West Loop, executive chef David Dworshak is moving on. Owner Mario Ponce relayed the news this morning, saying in a statement that Dworshak, who created the menus and food programs at Takito Kitchen and Bar Takito, is leaving to "pursue personal interest and enjoy a break from the kitchen."
The restaurants are bringing aboard two chefs to replace Dworshak. Alberto Mendez, who formerly ran Revolucion Mexican Steakhouse as well as a restaurant in Oak Park and another in NYC, is the new executive chef at both restaurants and will oversee both. In addition, Miami-trained chef Gustavo Urbina-Barahona will run the kitchen at the original Wicker Park location.
Takito Kitchen opened in March 2013, bringing a creative and well-received Mexican-inspired creative taco and cocktail-driven concept to Division Street. Dworshak, who came over from a long stint as chef at Carnivale, took liberties with the food menu, telling Eater in March 2014 that "I'm a gringo, I don't have a drop of Mexican blood in my body, but I've studied Latin food for years and I wanted to do something very different and I did. I took some risks, I took some chances, a lot of people have really enjoyed it."
Bar Takito, the similar but more drinking-focused second location, opened on Lake Street in August 2014. It has received major competition this summer from a similar concept with a massive outdoor patio, Federales, which opened nearly across the street.