Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town This Week

Mercat a la Planxa's Jose Garces (Photo: Mercat a la Planxa)

It's cold outside, but these people are hot hot hot . . .

Jose Garces was in town Tuesday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Mercat a la Planxa. Though he's not the day-to-day chef (that honor belongs to chef de cuisine Cory Morris), Garces' recognition is what brings faces into the Spanish-influenced place. Look for the "Iron Chef" winner to spend more time in his hometown of Chicago because he's scouting for a location for a new restaurant. He won't disclose the concept yet, but he promises that it'll be heavily inspired by one of his existing seven spots in Philly. We're looking forward to that!

Miae Liam is out at Japonais and has taken long-time Mirai Sushi chef Jun Ichikawa with her to open a Gold Coast restaurant.

Chris Nugent photo via

• Big props go to Chris Nugent, whose glorious BYOB Goosefoot was one of four Chicago restaurants awarded Top 100 Restaurants for Best Service by Open Table. The other honorees were L2O, Senza and Tru.

Storefront Company's Bryan Moscatello is set to host the fourth Discovery Dinner Party at the sleek Bucktown resto. During each event, the award-winning chef spotlights an ingredient and this time it's Kolossos Olive Oil. It will be highlighted in each dish, from olive oil fondue to olive oil cake. The event happens Tuesday, March 19, beginning with a 6:30pm cocktail reception. Each course will be paired with wine, so this is a pretty good deal at $79 per guest. Seating is limited and reservations in advance are required.

Frontera Grill kingpin Rick Bayless is brewing up some controversy in Chicago.

• Don't forget to make resos for Chicago Chef Week, happening March 17-22.

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