Gonnella announces layoffs as it transitions to frozen dough
Suburban bakery Gonnella Baking Co. is laying off 40 workers and transitioning from fresh bread production and delivery to selling frozen dough, the Tribune reported. The company runs frozen dough production locations in Schaumburg and Pennsylvania, as well as a baking facility in Aurora. The company, originally founded in 1886, completed its last fresh bread deliveries on Saturday. This is bad news for local sandwich companies including Al’s Beef, which used Gonnella’s French bread for its Italian beef delights.
Celebrated restaurant Next raises $115k for José Andrés’s nonprofit
Acclaimed Fulton Market restaurant Next raised and donated $115,000 to World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by chef, restaurateur, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee José Andrés that provides meals to survivors of natural disasters. Next’s Nick Kokonas announced the final dollar amount on Twitter: “Chef Andrés is an inspiration, a true American, and we are honored to have worked with his team to showcase his work [and] food...” In September, Next debuted a “Best of José Andrés” menu featuring a collection of the chef’s most celebrated dishes.
I'm pleased to announce that during the @NextRestaurant @chefjoseandres menu we raised and donated $115,000 for @WCKitchen thanks to our patrons. Chef Andres is an inspiration, a true American, and we are honored to have worked with his team to showcase his work food and abroad— nick kokonas (@nickkokonas) February 7, 2020
Future of Publican Quality Bread’s Fulton Market HQ uncertain
The future of Publican Quality Bread’s baking facility in Fulton Market is uncertain as a developer moves forward with plans to raze the building at 808 W. Lake Street where it currently resides. Chicago-based North Park Ventures submitted a zoning application in July that proposes demolishing a demolishing a row of small West Lake Street properties to build a 19-story, 228,000-square-foot hotel and office building, according to Crain’s. The baking-only operation will likely need to relocate, but reps don’t have any details to share for the time being. Publican baker Greg Wade won a James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker in 2019, and the bread is found at many of Chicago’s better restaurants.
Roots Pizza series features specialty pies from six noteworthy chefs
Local mini-chain Roots Handmade Pizza debuted a short-term lineup of specialty pies designed by popular local chefs yesterday that runs through April 6, night of the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game, according to a news release. Diners can expect pizza creations from Matthias Merges (Mordecai), Alisha Elenz (Bar Biscay), Won Kim (Kimski), Jonathan Zaragoza (Birrieria Zaragoza), Oliver Poilevey (Le Bouchon), and Lamar Moore (formerly the Swill Inn). Offerings include Zaragoza’s “G.O.A.T. Pizza” (La Barca, Jalisco birria, Salsa de Molcajete, Chihuahua cheese, salsa verde) and Kim’s “KoPo BBQ Pizza” (Kimski sausage, kraut-chi, shiitake mushrooms, ssam-marinara, mozzarella, sesame leaves, sesame seeds, sesame vinaigrette, scallions). The menu is available at all three Roots locations in West Town, Lincoln Square, and Old Town.
White Sox acquire ‘delicious tacos’ in blockbuster deal
And finally, the Chicago White Sox had some fun dealing with a trade rumor that Twitter spread over the weekend. While fans were commenting on speculation, the team’s official Twitter account posted that the team had made a trade, but not for a player. Twitter declared the Sox had acquired “delicious tacos.” Media and fans laughed at the picture of tacos, but the team left several questions unanswered: where were the tacos from, what kind of tacos, and who made the tortillas? While the joke was good for a few giggles, perhaps the team should be more transparent. It didn’t even reveal if the salsa adorning the tacos was made in New York City. One photo showed soft tortillas, the other depicted cartoon tacos with hard shells. The inconsistencies are enough to have the trade fall apart. Stay tuned for updates on this taco transaction.