Poor Tribute. The South Loop restaurant has been open for less than two months, and while it received one fairly positive review, a press release just announced that Jared Case has been named as the new executive chef. This, of course, means that the former executive chef, Lawrence Letrero, is gone. According to Tribute’s PR, Letrero “resigned and everyone parted ways amicably.” By our count, this is the fourth different person in charge of Tribute since it was first rumored last year.
It’d be different if the chefs all left due to some power struggle with the owner of the Essex Inn, but that’s simply not the case. Chef Paul Wildermuth tragically died last November while developing the concept. Brandon Baltzly was in charge for a few months, but he had to leave to deal with a drug addiction. After Baltzley’s exit, Letrero quickly stepped in to help with the opening.
As for Jared Case, he’s a CIA graduate who most recently worked at a private club outside of St. Louis. But he actually has some interesting Chicago history. He was once the executive chef at Marche, and has worked under Paul Wildermuth before. We’re not completely sure whether Tribute’s menu will completely change or not, but we were promised that more details would come soon.