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Boka’s Lauded Fulton Market Japanese Spot Loses its Executive Chef

Mark Hellyar has left Momotaro

Marc Much/Eater Chicago
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

One of Chicago’s top Japanese restaurants has lost its chef as Mark Hellyar has departed Momotaro in Fulton Market. Hellyar opened and spent four years at the Eater Chicago 38 member that’s part of the Boka Restaurant Group. He said he left so he and wife Judy could raise his yet-to-be-born baby girl “close to the mountains and the ocean along with family and friends.”

Hellyar, who was also a partner at the restaurant, wasn’t ready to share where he and his family will move. He only said that there’s a chef/concept development job waiting for him at a new location. He worked at a few prominent Tokyo restaurants before moving to Chicago.

Mark Hellyar
Boka Restaurant Group [Erik Kleinberg]

“We moved here for Momotaro and have missed living closer to our friends and family ever since,” Hellyar said.

A Boka spokesperson teased an “exciting” announcement for Momotaro in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. The company called the shuffle a mutual decision.


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