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Jul 13, 2011 06:38 PM

Duffy leaving Avenues

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  1. Yup, I mentioned it in two other topics earlier today...

    4 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Yes, so I now see - in that next Next menu thread for one. The other?

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Does anyone know the timing? Might want to get in another meal there before he leaves... easily one of my favorite meals in Chicago.

          1. re: bobdobilina

            From Eater Chicago, they're aiming for a Spring 2012 opening date, Curtis is likely to leave Avenues sometime in September.


    2. No time frame is mentioned in the article.

      I agree with the sentiment by mountsac in the other topic: what this portends for Chicago-area dining in the long term is great! A new chef who will continue the reputation of Avenues for top-flight dining, as well as a new high-end restaurant showcasing Chef Duffy's abilities. The latter prospect is particularly appealing. Our high-end restaurant scene has been dominated by restaurants that have been around for a while (5+ years), although there's nothing wrong with that per se. Newcomers that have opened in the past few years have all been characterized by mixed reviews and changes in chefs (L2O, Sixteen, Ria). Based on Duffy's quotes in the article, he's shooting to join that group of "best of the best" in Chicago, and I wish him the best in that regard, for his sake as well as ours!

      5 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Let us hope that until he leaves Avenues, he will ensure that his menu will be executed as well as it could be insofar as it reflects his conceptualization of it.

        As for his new venture, yes, one shall look forwards to it. There, too, hopefully the reservation system will not be as ***difficult*** as what is currently done at a restaurant in the same area as where his proposed new place is to be established.

        1. re: huiray

          i emailed the restaurant to make sure duffy would still be there in mid august when i am planning to go, and they confirmed that he would be.

          1. re: streaksinthesky

            I had dinner at Avenues last night and asked Duffy about it. If I understood him correctly, "sometime around mid-September" would be the likely time frame.

            1. re: huiray

              what is the cost of the tasting currently?

        1. re: huiray

          Okay, I've got two questions.

          1. Does this mean they have already selected an executive chef?

          2. I am not in the business, but doesn't the executive chef typically select the chef de cuisine, often someone with whom he/she has worked in the past?

          1. re: nsxtasy

            I don't know on both counts. I do seem to remember that Duffy himself was listed as Chef de Cuisine, NOT Executive Chef.

            1. re: huiray

              Hmmm... He's shown as Executive Chef on the Opentable listing. (shrug)

              They might be keeping him in that title until he has actually left (September), and waiting till then to name his replacement as executive chef .

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Opentable is wrong. Curtis Duffy is Chef de Cuisine, not Executive Chef, at Avenues.


                Hence the Craigslist ad.

                1. re: mountsac


                  I'm guessing, the Pen probably has an executive chef who oversees all their restaurants and their banquet services. So it may be different from, for example, the Sofitel, where the executive chef for all their services is also the executive chef at their Cafe des Architectes restaurant.

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    Peninsula Chicago probably has an executive chef, but I doubt he has much say in the food in Avenues, or Shanghai Terrace for that matter. The executive chef at Peninsula probably oversees the Lobby, Pierre Gourmet, events, and room service.

        2. Looks like Avenues has closed for the rest of the year, and might no longer be Avenues when it reopens.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mcgeary

            Thanks for the update. Yes, the closing and remodeling has been known to be in the works for a while - so it seems it is now a reality.