Two years ago at 23 years old, Alisha Elenz was promoted to executive chef of the Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winning restaurant in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, mfk. Since then, Elenz has won the Jean Banchet Award for Rising Star Chef, was one of Crain's Chicago Business's 20 in Their 20's and was a finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award.
Now at 25, Elenz is taking another giant leap in her culinary career: overseeing mfk. and its sister restaurant, Bar Biscay, as executive chef and partner.
“I have so many ideas for where we can take the menu at Bar Biscay,” says Elenz. “Our kitchen size at mfk. dictated much of what we could do, so the expansive open kitchen (and walk-in!) here is exciting to get to work with. I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge and journey.”
Fresh off a trip to Spain, Elenz brings back a wealth of ideas and inspiration that she plans to incorporate in the coming weeks as weekend specials while she develops the menu at Bar Biscay, taking the West Town restaurant to new heights.
Elenz started at mfk. in 2015 as a part-time prep cook, and as she worked her way up the ranks, owners and husband-and-wife team, Scott Worsham and Sari Zernich Worsham, quickly took notice of her work ethic. She was promoted to executive chef in December 2017. The Worshams opened Bar Biscay in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood in February 2018 with their friend and industry veteran, Joe Campagna.
Bar Biscay, 1450 W. Chicago Ave., is open for dinner six nights a week. Hours are from 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Sundays, with later kitchen hours on Fridays and Saturdays, from 5 to 11 p.m. A daily #severehappiness hour from 5 to 6 p.m. offers $5 glasses of sangria, wine, beer, pintxos boards and more. Other weekly specials include half-off wine bottles on Tuesday, a $60 four-course dinner for two on Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursday cocktail specials and each month, the restaurant transforms itself into a 70’s inspired nightclub at Last Saturdays Discotheque. Expect more specials, programming and surprises to come.