Alongside partners Michael Rotolo and Erika Martinez Rotolo, Executive Chef/Partner Brian Enyart and Pastry Chef/Partner Jennifer Jones Enyart announced Joel Ramirez, who most recently served as the sous chef of Topolobampo, and now re-joins Brian and Jennifer once again as the first sous chef of Logan Square’s critically acclaimed Dos Urban Cantina.
A first-generation Mexican-American born on Chicago’s South Side, Joel Ramirez began cooking during a grammar school program at age 11. He graduated from culinary school at the Art Institute before turning an internship at Blackbird into a four-year learning experience under an impressive roster of ascendant Chicago chefs, including Paul Kahan (James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef, 2013), Mike Sheerin (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2010), Jared Van Camp (Nellcôte, Old Town Social, Leghorn Chicken) and Dennis Bernard (Dove’s Luncheonette). He finished his tenure at Blackbird as lead line cook.
Transitioning to star chef Rick Bayless’s Michelin-starred Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, Ramirez started out as a saucier, working under both chef Bayless and then-sous chef Brian Enyart, with whom he built a bond developing the restaurant’s menu. A promotion to sous chef allowed him to work closely with Topolobampo’s then-pastry chef Jennifer Jones Enyart. During his six years at Topolobampo, Ramirez studied the Bayless-emphasized union of traditional Mexican cuisine with higher-end dishes and contemporary techniques on staff trips to Mexico that included stops in Oaxaca, Mérida, Baja and Monterrey.
Now, he brings his extensive fine-dining kitchen experience in rejoining Brian and Jennifer Enyart in the kitchen at Dos Urban Cantina as sous chef with his eye set on continual development of a consistently high-caliber menu.