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Proxi and Oriole Find New Chefs De Cuisine and Five More Shuffles

An ongoing log of industry chef and staff changes for 2023

A smiling chef, Jennifer Kim, in the kitchen leaning on the counter.
Jennifer Kim was Eater Chicago’s 2019 Chef of the Year.
Barry Brecheisen/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.

WEST LOOP— Proxi, the West Loop restaurant that celebrates global street food flavors with dishes like tempura elotes, has found a new chef de cuisine. Jennifer Kim, who left the restaurant world after closing Passerotto in 2020 in Andersonville and taught students at Kendall College, is back in the game.

Kim will work at Proxi alongside executive chef Andrew Zimmerman who also oversees Sepia, a sibling restaurant next door. An announcement states Kim will create new menu items and help oversee and train the kitchen staff. Kim, Eater Chicago’s 2019 Chef of the Year, is known for their know-how in curing seafood and their activism, raising a voice to inequities in the kitchen and establishing pop-ups and other channels as alternatives to working in restaurants. Kim is also a Blackbird alum and worked with current Elske chef David Posey.

FULTON MARKET— Michelin-starred Oriole has hired former Bristol chef Larry Feldmeier as the fine dining restaurant’s new chef de cuisine. Feldmeier has worked at Sixteen and the Albert. He will team up with chef and co-owner Noah Sandoval. The Bristol closed in December.

FULTON MARKET— Rob Levitt is more than a butcher. Since 2019, he’s been a Publican Quality Meats — often behind the meat counter or downstairs breaking down animals. But, as Mike Sula at the Chicago Reader notes, he never lost his passion for restaurants, especially after he and his wife, Allie, left Mado. That difficult departure created motivations for Levitt’s lines when he appeared in The Bear. Nevertheless, Levitt has a new opportunity at PQM: They’re rolling out dinner service. It will take a few months, but read more about PM at PQM in the Reader.

PILSEN— Dusek’s has a new chef after Ryan Pfeiffer’s departure. Pfeiffer, who joined 16” on Center in April as its executive director has decided to focus on his Logan Square sandwich shop, Big Kids, and his family, according to Michael Nagrant. Pfeiffer, a decorated chef, added a tasting menu and revamped the food options at Dusek’s, leaving the reigns to Geoff Thompson who is now the executive chef of Dusek’s and Punch House and Tack Room, all in Thalia Hall. Thompson is a former executive sous chef at Blackbird.

RIVER NORTH— Hubbard Inn has a new exeuctive chef. Chris Lorenz, a veteran corporate chef who oversaw Wrigleyville bars like Casey Morans and Deuce’s Diamond Club, is now in charge at the Hubbard Street club.

STREETERVILLE— Toralli, the restaurant inside the Ritz-Carlton at Water Tower Place, has a new executive chef. Guenther Moreno, a native Filipino, is now in charge. He’s worked for the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida, and at Peninsula Chicago.

Found

1631 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201 (847) 868-8945 Visit Website

Water Tower Place

835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 440-3166 Visit Website

Thalia Hall

1807 South Allport Street, , IL 60608 (312) 526-3851 Visit Website

mEAT

215 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL 60611 Visit Website

Kendall College

18 South Michigan Avenue, , IL 60603 (888) 905-3632 Visit Website

Tack Room

1807 South Allport Street, , IL 60608 (312) 526-3851 Visit Website

Passerotto

5420 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL Visit Website

After

1338 W. Fulton Street, Chicago, IL Visit Website

Hubbard Inn

110 West Hubbard Street, , IL 60654 (312) 273-6207 Visit Website

Blackbird

614 North 2nd Street, , PA 19123 (267) 324-5224 Visit Website

Punch House

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

Oriole

661 West Walnut Street, , IL 60661 (312) 877-5899 Visit Website

the Albert

228 East Ontario Street, , IL 60611 (312) 471-3883 Visit Website

Sepia

123 North Jefferson Street, , IL 60661 (312) 441-1920 Visit Website

Elske

1350 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-1314 Visit Website

Casey Morans

3660 North Clark Street, , IL 60613 (773) 755-4444 Visit Website

Big Kids

2545 North Kedzie Boulevard, , IL 60647 (773) 687-8385 Visit Website

Next

953 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 Visit Website

Sixteen

401 North Wabash Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 588-8030 Visit Website

Proxi

565 West Randolph Street, , IL 60661 (312) 466-1950 Visit Website

Publican Quality Meats

825 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 445-8977 Visit Website