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Acclaimed Beverage Director Ulises Martinez to Leave Essential Restaurant Mi Tocaya

And more chef and staff changes to know

A Mexican-American man sitting next to his mother.
Beverage director Uli Martinez is leaving Mi Tocaya.
PBS/No Passport Required

January 29

AROUND TOWN — Miranda Breedlove (Good Fortune, Happy Village) left her position as beverage director at Out to Lunch Hospitality this fall, she wrote in an email. She accepted a post as national director of bars for Hyatt Lifestyle Division. Breedlove has a wealth of experience bartending at Chicago restaurants and cocktail bars, including Broken Shaker, Bad Hunter, Beatnik, and Sportsman’s Club.

LOGAN SQUARE — Lauded beverage director Ulises Martinez will leave Eater 38 restaurant Mi Tocaya Antojería, he told Eater Chicago. His last day is February 25. Martinez said for the time being, he will do research, work on side projects, and work for Mezcales De Leyenda Mezcal and Peloton de la Muerte. The restaurant from Eater’s 2018 Chef of the Year Diana Dávila is now on the hunt for someone to step into his shoes. Martinez was featured in the third episode of No Passport Required, a TV show produced by Eater for PBS with host Marcus Samuelsson, where he describes his early hospitality industry jobs, climbing the ranks over time, and recounts his experience entering the U.S. at age 4 with his mother as undocumented immigrants — he’s now a DACA recipient. “It’s a big scary step to be leaving [Mi Tocaya],” Martinez wrote in a text message. “I love chef Davila and am extremely grateful for the opportunities and education.”

PILSEN — Hospitality group 16” on Center has appointed Andrew Asken as executive chef at upscale Thalia Hall-adjacent restaurant and bar Dusek’s Board & Beer, according to a rep. A Chicagoland native, Asken left the state with a baseball scholarship at a North Carolina university but ultimately sustained an injury that ended his sports career. He then began cooking, helping James Beard-nominated chef Joe Kindred open his eponymous and acclaimed Southern restaurant Kindred, before returning to Chicago to work at Alinea, Two, Momotaro, and Band of Bohemia.

WEST LOOP — Rick Bayless has brought in California-born Stephen Sandoval as chef de cuisine at his acclaimed Baja-style restaurant Leña Brava, according to a news release. Sandoval is not exactly a new face at the restaurant — in 2016, he opened the restaurant as a line cook, worked there for two years, and was promoted to sous chef. He’s an alumnus of the Bay Area’s French Culinary Institute and famed Spanish cooking school Gasma, and has cooked at San Francisco’s State Bird Provisions, Cochon in New Orleans, and Mexico City’s Azul Condesa. He and Bayless plan to debut a new menu this spring.

For a list of 2019’s shuffles, click here.

Mi Tocaya Antojería

2800 West Logan Boulevard, , IL 60647 (872) 315-3947 Visit Website

Dusek's Board & Beer

1227 West 18th Street, , IL 60608 (312) 526-3851 Visit Website

Happy Village

1059 North Wolcott Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 486-1512 Visit Website

Good Fortune

2528 North California Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 666-5238 Visit Website

Lena Brava

900 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 733-1975