Current chef-in-residence Stephen Gillanders has joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as Intro’s new executive chef/partner. In this new permanent role, Gillanders will serve as a direct partner with all upcoming visiting chefs, as well as work on other LEYE projects. This new partnership and collaboration was sparked by the success of his residency, where his a la carte menu was tremendously well received. The diverse, varied format of his new revamped a la carte menu allows him to accelerate Intro’s visiting chef program, where featured chefs can add to his offerings while showcasing their own stand-alone menu as well. Gillanders will no longer be opening a restaurant in Los Angeles as he originally planned before coming to Chicago, as Intro is his new restaurant.
Starting February 8, Chef Jessica Largey will be Intro’s next chef-in-residence, showcasing an accessible, creative California-inspired menu with an emphasis on vegetables. Items will be available a la carte at first; beginning February 15 Largey’s family-style sharing menu will also become available. A Southern California native best known for her work as chef de cuisine at Manresa, Largey’s talent is highly lauded by the industry. Among many other accolades, she won the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in Chicago in 2015, the first time the awards were held outside of New York City. Largey will cook at Intro through May 10.
Intro was conceptualized with four goals in mind: to introduce Chicago to new culinary talent, to teach young chef entrepreneurs the structure of building and running a successful business, to give senior Lettuce partners the opportunity to act as mentors, and to expose talented new chefs to potential future employees, as well as to potential investors.