Master Sommelier Alpana Singh and her partners have announced Tanya Baker as the new executive chef of The Boarding House. In this role, Baker will lead the culinary direction of the dining room, bar, and event spaces at the wine-driven destination as it embarks on its second year.
As executive chef, Baker completes The Boarding House's all-women, trailblazing food and beverage team alongside Singh and Pastry Chef Julia Fitting.
“Appointing Tanya to this role was a natural progression for The Boarding House," says Singh. "The restaurant's name was largely due to the fact that historically boarding houses were run by women and I'm excited to continue this tradition."
Singh was inspired to support women starting at home after recently attending the 2013 James Beard Foundation Women in Whites Gala to honor formidable females in the industry.
"I have been watching Tanya's career as she's worked at various restaurants in and around Chicago. We asked her to join the opening team at The Boarding House and she has been with us ever since," Singh says. "We're excited to have Tanya debut her beautiful dishes on our menu. She is a tremendous complement to our culinary team, not only as a woman, but as a truly talented chef on the rise."
Under this new direction, The Boarding House will now offer its full Dining Room menu at the first floor Wine Bar.
In light of Baker's recent appointment, Alpana Singh will celebrate the Women of Food and Wine with a special dinner on Wednesday, February 26.
The evening will begin with a reception featuring passed hors d'oeuvres from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. followed by a four-course dinner hosted in The Boarding House's cellar. The meal will showcase beautiful dishes curated by Baker and decadent desserts by pastry chef Julia Fitting. Additionally, Singh has invited fellow female sommeliers Rachel Driver Speckan (City Winery), Rachael Lowe (Brindille), Shebnem Ince (Perman Wine Selections), and Erin Drain (Cream Wine Company), to join in on selecting the courses' wine pairings, highlighting bottles produced exclusively by women winemakers.