CHICAGO, IL – April 7, 2016 – Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ Founder, Rich Melman and Executive Vice President and Partner Marc Jacobs are teaming up with Chef/ Partner CJ Jacobson to open Ēma (pronounced: ee-ma) this summer in River North (74 W. Illinois). You may recognize Chef CJ as Intro’s first chef-in-residence, garnering three stars from the Chicago Tribune. Chef CJ starred on Bravo’s Top Chef; most recently winning Top Chef Duels in 2014 with his dishes gracing the cover of the October 2015 issue of Food & Wine magazine. He has worked in several Michelin-star kitchens including Campanile in Los Angeles under Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton as well as world-renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma, working with acclaimed Chef René Redzepi.
“We are thrilled to be working with CJ on his first restaurant with Lettuce,” – says Marc Jacobs, partner at Lettuce Entertain You. “The name Ema translates to mother in Hebrew. This restaurant is an ode to our moms and the influence they have had on our relationships with food and cooking. Both CJ and I have spent time in Israel, Egypt and Italy and this menu is a culmination of what we loved to eat in the Mediterranean and CJ’s experience cooking on the West Coast.”
At the core of the menu are Mezze, Mediterranean small plates that are meant to be shared at the table. Expect a lighter, more healthful California-style of cooking that uses unique spices and ingredients. In addition to the full service restaurant, ĒMA will also have a grab-and-go counter featuring rotisserie chicken, chef prepared salads, fresh salsas and house-made frozen Greek yogurt.
Ēma will be located in the Hyatt Place at 74 W. Illinois St. in Chicago, IL. and will open summer 2016 for lunch and dinner. For more information follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and for an inside-the-kitchen look at recipe testing with Chef CJ follow him on Instagram at @bigceej