Chicago Chefs Status Report

Find out who's cooking where in our culinary capital

Ever wonder what happened to a certain Chicago chef or wish you could keep up with the revolving door of restaurant personnel? We're here to provide periodic updates on who's cooking where in town so that you're never left hanging -- or hungry -- again.

One of Chicago's most acclaimed culinary talents, Roland Liccioni, has hung his toque in some of the city's finest kitchens over the course of his career -- from Carlos' in Highland Park and Le Francais in Wheeling, to Les Nomades and Le Lan downtown. As a trained classical French chef, Liccioni has racked up award after award, including a five-star Mobil rating, five Diamond awards and Best Chef Midwest status from the James Beard Foundation. So, when he left Le Francais after his second celebrated stint, Chicago diners were left wondering where he would resurface. The answer is Miramar, restaurateur Gabriel Viti's welcoming Highwood bistro. Viti and Liccioni go way back to when Liccioni was the chef and Viti was the sous chef at Carlos', located just around the corner from Miramar. Liccioni plans to make Miramar's menu more French in focus (no surprise there) with his signature Asian touches, but to also retain the successful restaurant's vibrant Latin accents. 

In "Top Chef" related news, current season contestant Radhika Desai's Wicker Park restaurant, Between Boutique Cafe & Lounge, continues to build upon its popular concept -- a globally focused sharing plates menu served in a sexy, intimate setting. Desai recently brought on pastry chef Amy Fingerhut to take over Between's desserts menu. The French Pastry School grad will collaborate with Desai, who has a pastry background, to create new desserts each month, recreating childhood favorites in a delightfully adult way. The new desserts menu, which debuted this past Saturday, offers such treats as the "Betwinki," a playful take on the classic with house-baked golden sponge cake with hand-picked vanilla beans and Belgian dark chocolate ganache; the "Bombe," boasting three Belgian chocolate/cocoa blends, a sphere of chocolate mousse and chocolate creme brulee on a dense chocolate cake; and "Warm Grand Marnier French Toast," Between's most popular dessert served with cinnamon-dusted ice cream. In addition, all diners will receive a handmade truffle at the conclusion of their meal.   

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