Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baltzley Out at Tribute; Letrero Takes Over

Tribute, the new restaurant going in at the Essex Inn on Michigan, has apparently parted ways with their executive chef Brandon Baltzley (left in picture). In early March we had a post stating how intrigued we were with Baltzley. Whether it was his past at Mado, his unique tattoos (loved the pirate swords on his neck), or the interesting concoctions that won him the job, it all sparked our curiosity.

The new executive chef, Lawrence Letrero (right in picture), taking over for Baltzley was already on the team so our guess is that this change won't derail the concept.

The Chicago Eater blog states that Baltzley relapsed into drug use:

Based on recent tweets on Baltzley's feed, it sounds like the tattooed chef may have relapsed into drug use. He wrote, in a series of tweets just now, "I'm getting sober people, tranquillo. My last year in NYC was spent in church basements talking with other addicts. We opened 6th St and it was great. Dropped the ball 8 months later... nothing new. All will be good. Good luck to those guys. They fucking rock."

Yesterday, Baltzley tweeted that his "septum has been deviated" and asked, "Who wants to babysit me for 14 days?" Eater got in touch with Baltzley just now and asked if he was going to rehab. "Trying too. It's hard financially," he said. "Seeing what I can do."

Hope he gets his stuff straightened out and gets back to what he does well. And although he's gone, we're still intrigued by Tribute. Hopefully they open soon...we're getting restless.

(Image from Chicago Eater)

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