Garrett Harris 10:11 p.m., May 23
Since coming on as the chef of local farm-to-table restaurateur Jay Porter’s empire, Max Bonacci has had a lot on his plate—and I’m not talking food. He’s been heading the culinary operations at North Park’s The Linkery (3794 30th Street) and El Take It Easy (3926 30th Street). Running one kitchen is enough for most chefs, but handling two separate concepts in two disconnected locations is challenging. Porter and Bonacci recently decided it was too challenging. As a result, chef Keith Adams has taken over The Linkery so Bonacci can focus on El Take It Easy full-time.
Of late, Adams, a Michigan transplant who came to The Linkery earlier this year, has been rolling out new dishes. One that will hit the bill of fare today is house-made gnocchi in pastured chicken cream sauce with local red peppers, Suzie’s Farm tatsoi (greens with a mustard-like flavor), and eggplant fried in tallow (rendered beef fat from grass-fed cattle). As evidenced by that menu item (pictured below), The Linkery will continue to focus on creating cuisine spotlighting local ingredients.
Meanwhile, over at El Take It Easy, Bonacci (who will be cooking with Michelin-starred chef Drew Deckman at Deckman’s en el Mogor in Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley on Thursday, September 27) will start introducing new offerings over the next few weeks. His plan is to polish the menu and push it even further into contemporary Baja cuisine, making use of the small scale of the restaurant in creating a base for personal creativity and expression.
Porter says his chefs definitely have different culinary styles, but expects the changes to result in more of an evolution than some massive change of direction.