Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sad Story Centered Around New South Loop Restaurant

We've chronicled some of the highs and lows of Tribute, the new restaurant that is scheduled to open later this month at the Essex Inn (800 S. Michigan).

Much of the initial attention centered around the young and eccentric executive chef Brandon Baltzley. A couple of weeks ago news came out that Baltzley and the restaurant management severed ties and it came out that it was due to Baltzley relapse into drugs.

Today we read a chilling article in the Chicago Tribune detailing an all to common occurrence in the restaurant industry:

A week earlier, Baltzley, 26, was the head chef at Tribute, an ambitious, 170-seat restaurant set to open in the Essex Inn in the South Loop. He spent months developing his menu, crafting a document to tell the world: This is who I am. Instead, on this morning in late May, he will check himself into a drug rehabilitation program on the West Side.

It's a disturbing, but well crafted article about the pressures of the industry and although it doesn't have much to do with the Sloop (besides the Tribute connection), it's an interesting read.

As we've stated before, it appears Batlzley had some major talent. Hopefully he gets the help he needs and gets another chance.

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