Jose Garces Goes To Chicago

Philly celeb chef Jose Garces of Tinto and Amada was the subject of a recent profile in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The reason for the profile is the recent opening of his Chicago restaurant Mercat a la Planxa. Garces was mentioned along with fellow chefs Marcus Samuelsson, Laurent Gras and Terrance Brennan — all of whom have opened new Chicago restaurants in 2008.

But what about our hometown chef? Here’s what the Sun-Times had to say:

Garces graduated from Chicago’s Kendall College with a degree in culinary arts, but built his hefty resume in New York and Philadelphia at award-winning restaurants.

“I’ve been wanting to get home for 13 years,” Garces says. “Chicago’s come to the forefront as a very modern culinary town. Along with Grant [Achatz of Alinea] and others who work here in town, that’s transformed [this] from a meat-and-potatoes town to a culinary mecca.”

At his two spots in Philadelphia, Tinto and Amada, Garces took bold approaches to Spanish cuisine. He’s taking it farther at the 162-seat Mercat a la Planxa, with grilled-to-order meats and seafood at center stage.

For research, Garces and his team made a pilgrimage to Barcelona, Spain, to sample food inside the city’s famed Mercat de la Boqueria and local tapas joints.

Sounds good to us.

Their kind of town [CST]


Jose Garces Goes To Chicago