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Italian The Loop

The Caffè Baci Group, downtown Chicago’s ofast casual contemporary Italian food service, has named Chef Cleetus Friedman as the new executive chef for its full service catering and special events division and creative chef for the restaurant group’s four downtown locations.

Chef Friedman will take the helm of Caffè Baci’s kitchens in early March and will introduce downtown Chicago to his new chef menus, which focus on locally sourced products and modern Italian cuisine, by early April. Along with updating current recipes, Chef Friedman is creating a lunch menu and daily specials for the restaurants.

“Caffè Baci has a really strong concept and delicious food and I am really excited to put my personal spin on its menus,” says Chef Friedman. “I plan to lighten the menus with seasonal fare and bring in the local and seasonal perspective. I have always been a fan of this group and look forward to bringing my perspective to its solid food and beverage program.”

Chef Friedman worked for Caffè Baci in the late 90s.

“Caffè Baci is excited to welcome Chef Friedman back home to its kitchens,” says proprietor Joseph Di Carlo. “We look forward to implementing Chef Friedman’s ideas of local and seasonal food to our repertoire of signature offerings and are thrilled with the anticipated introduction of evolving and innovative chef menus. All of us at Caffè Baci have been fans of Cleetus’ style of cuisine and his desire to progressively evolve in satisfaction of Chicagoans’ changing tastes. We simply can’t wait to have him return to the Caffè Baci family!”


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