Rustic Sexy Glam: Jose Garces and Alpana Singh Dish About Their Just-Opened Rural Society and Seven LionsNews etc., Trends & Essays No Comments »
By David Hammond
Earlier this month, two new restaurants opened in Chicago: Rural Society (455 North Park), under the direction of chef Jose Garces, and Seven Lions (130 South Michigan), the latest restaurant from Alpana Singh.
Garces and I grew up in the same Chicago area, and we both played in Portage Park as kids. He went to Chicago’s Kendall College and later went on to win the second season of “The Next Iron Chef.” Now operating a number of East Coast restaurants—including seven in Philadelphia and three in Atlantic City—for which he received a James Beard award, Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region. Garces had been executive chef at Chicago’s Mercat a la Planxa before opening Rural Society.
Singh was the host for ten seasons of “Check, Please!” on PBS, and before that worked as sommelier at Jean Joho’s Everest. At twenty-one, she was the youngest woman to ever be awarded Master Sommelier certification, and later became beverage director for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. She opened her first restaurant, The Boarding House, in 2012 and the following year received the Sommelier of the Year 2013 Wine Star award from Wine Enthusiast magazine.
While visiting their respective restaurants, we sat down with Garces and Singh to hear them explain why their new places are worthy additions to the Chicago dining scene. Read the rest of this entry »