Top Chef alum Dale Levitski relocating to Nashville; Restaurateurs recruited Levitski as executive chef for unannounced project
(Nashville, TN) April 1, 2014 – Confirming recent rumors, Dale Levitksi is the named executive chef for an unannounced restaurant project in the Melrose area of Nashville, Colin Reed, partner/owner of the project, announced today.
“Levitski will instantly elevate and add to the Nashville dining scene, which continues to enjoy the national spotlight,” said Reed. “It was very quickly evident that he was the ideal talent for this project. When he began discussing his vision for the food, it was as if he had a script of conversations we’d had internally.”
Bringing his eclectic American food to Music City, Levitski joins the restaurant that will be in the historic Melrose Theater building on 8th Avenue. The partnership group includes Colin Reed, sons Sam and Ed Reed, as well as Q-Juan Taylor and Austin Ray. Stay tuned for more details about the project.
“I am thrilled to be joining one of the hottest food scenes in the country,” said Levitski. “While Chicago will always be my beloved hometown, what really excites me about Nashville is the energy and support for the culinary scene. More specifically, the team behind this project, the space in which it will grow, and the high quality of service are all in line with my goals, and I know it’s going to be a fantastic result.”
Though Levitski became a household name through Top Chef, where he was a runner up on the third season of Bravo’s national cooking competition show, his culinary accolades reach beyond his time on television. Over the course of 15 years, Levitski has received numerous honors and accolades for his cooking, including being tied to three different best new restaurant awards by Chicago Magazine. He has received four Jean Banchet Award nomination, including rising star chef, celebrity chef, and twice for best neighborhood restaurant. He has cooked twice at the James Beard House by invitation.
He started his culinary career through high school and college, and in 1998 he worked for Carol Wallack at Deleece, learning the basics, and then for James Beard Award winning chef Paul Kahan at Blackbird, which he often cites as ‘his culinary school.’ His first position as executive chef was to open the breakfast-focused Orange, followed by La Tache, which was named one of the “Best New Bistros in North America” by Food and Wine magazine. Top Chef Season Four winner, Stephanie Izard, was Levitski’s sous chef at the time. One of the regulars was Henry Adaniya, who owned the critically acclaimed Trio and Adaniya. He offered Levitski the opportunity to take over upon Grant Achatz’s departure to open Alinea.
Following his success on Top Chef, Levitski took over Lincoln Park’s Sprout restaurant, during which time he was selected as a semifinalist for “Best Chef: Great Lakes Region” in 2011 by the James Beard Foundation. With Sprout owner Mike Causevic, Levitski opened Frog n Snail, a Midwestern bistro, in his own neighborhood.
With his announcement last October to take a hiatus from the Chicago culinary scene, Levitski spent time as an ongoing guest chef at Montana’s The Resort at Paws Up. His experience in some of Chicago’s best kitchens were where he honed skills for brunch, bistro and fine dining settings, and where his inspiration for creative flavors will come into his new kitchen in Nashville.