Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Intriqued by Brandon Baltzley, the New Chef at Tribute

We were excited to hear about a new restaurant called Tribute coming to the Essex Inn last month. We're also excited about recently stumbling upon more background on the executive chef, Brandon Baltzley, who has had spent the last year in Chicago bouncing around hot spots.

A site called rock and roll ghost has a great post about Brandon's background and the rocky relationship at his last stop Mado:

The space where Chicago restaurant Mado stands will not be going to Chef Brandon Baltzley after all. In a Rock ‘n Roll Ghost exclusive, Baltzley states that there were differing opinions on what the space was worth.

Now that Baltzley’s efforts to take over Mado have ended, he’s focusing on searching for a new space, private functions and seeing what else is out there for him in the culinary world.

Baltzley came to Chicago earlier this year from New York City, getting his feet wet at Grant Achatz’s three Michelin starred Alinea and then at Schwa before taking over the Executive Chef role at Mado that was vacated by Rob and Allie Levitt, (Rob Levitt’s The Butcher and Larder is due to open in the very near future). The 25 year-old chef overhauled Mado’s menu, opening up the Levitts’ Mediterranean small and large plates to a more global reach.

There is more to the story, but this was published before the news that he found a home at Tribute in the South Loop. In another interesting article, we found out that Baltzley "wowed" the owners of Tribute with some of his trial dishes:
Baltzley’s tryout, now public in the wake of his hiring, wowed Tribute‘s partners, particularly Lamb. “Great ingredients treated well – you could sense the depth of flavor and technique. An exceptional blend of creativity and approachability. You could taste the passion in his food. Truly an expression of Brandon’s personality,” Lamb told The Gluttonous Ghost.

Even better yet, Tribute seems to be active in the social media space. So if you want to follow the restaurant as it prepares to hit it's open date of May 1st, check out their facebook page, twitter page and blog.

Should be a big improvement for this space. We're really looking forward to this one!

Finally, if you're like us you can't get away from the antics of Charlie Sheen, well it appears that the team at Tribute can't either. The provide some excellent commentary on the situation while at a tasting for their own coffee blend that we presume will be offered at the restaurant:

(Image from Eater Chicago & The Gluttonous Ghost)


Scrumpy said...

Looking forward to this! (Minus the foam.)

Allen said...

YES! The team involved with the project is 1st class and is going to be a fantastic South Loop destination restaurant!!