A whole lot of shake-ups going on
If you haven't already seen Mike Sula's post over on the Reader's blog, Sepia's publicist announced this morning that chef Kendal Duque (at left) is leaving at the end of this month to work on his own restaurant and that NoMI chef de cuisine Andrew Zimmerman is taking over the Sepia kitchen. I say win-win, because I'm guessing that Zimmerman never really got full control under the shadow of exec chef Christophe David so he might really shine once given the chance at Sepia, and if Duque does his own thing well, that's yet one more good option to add to the dining scene.
Turns out, transition is all around: The husband-and-wife team of Katie and Eusevio Garcia (at right) behind Pilsen's Mundial—Cocina Mestiza have not only parted ways, but they've each sold their share of the restaurant to their partner Mario Cota. Cota says he's keeping the name and the general concept of creative "Nuevo Latino" cuisine, but he's implementing some changes to the decor and bringing in chef Hector Marcial to revamp the menu. Marcial has cooked for a handful of KDK restaurants, including Red Light, Opera and Marche, but he says he'll get back to his Mexican roots at Mundial. "We’re going to always use a lot of Latino influences, and 90% of our ingredients are going to stay Mexican," Marcial says. "But I'm also going to have it live up to its "Mundial" name and do things from around the world—the Mediterranean, Lebanon, even Japan or China." For now, Marcial's food will show up as specials starting this weekend, but look for a whole new menu come April.
Meanwhile, Eusevio Garcia has popped up as the chef at Amelia's, where he plans to have most of his own dishes on the menu in the next couple weeks. Katie Garcia is looking at opening her own spot in Pilsen, so we'll keep you posted on that as the project progresses.
Top photo: Martha Williams; Bottom photo: Allison Williams