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Mercat a la Planxa announces the appointment of Executive Chef David Oland to the culinary team. Oland joins the team with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and will oversee the culinary operations for Mercat a la Planxa. 

“I go home at night and dream about the menu,” says Oland. “Spain has such a rich culinary history, and our team is able to draw inspiration from the country’s diverse regions. At Mercat, I’m excited to share my knowledge with our team and ensure we’re all treating one another with respect, all while fostering a love for Spain’s culinary traditions and techniques.” 

As Mercat a la Planxa’s Executive Chef, Oland is taking a research-driven approach to the menu, incorporating artisanal ingredients imported directly from Spain and looking at traditional food through a contemporary lens. His first project “Culinary Tours through Spain” is a rotating dinner offering that focuses on the cuisine of different Spanish comunidades, beginning with Cataluña’s Barcelona, and continuing in April with fare from the Basque Country. This tasting menu will be available for $85/person starting April 11th, 2024.

Mercat’s dinner menu offers diners the opportunity to create their own Spanish culinary tour. The Tapas section features dishes like the traditional Pan Con Tomate, a tomato and garlic-rubbed sourdough drizzled with pure extra virgin Arbequina olive oil and topped with vinegar-cured imported anchovies and Maldon salt. The Queso y Embutido offerings include the Cinco Jotas, 5J Iberico Spanish ham served with cheese and pepitoria. Guests can choose dishes from the Raciones section; classic Paellas, locally sourced chicken for his Gallina en Pepitoria, or the hanger steak ”arrachera” with a puree of parsnip. Chef Oland’s menu also features an ever-evolving array of fresh seafood, shellfish and oysters that are sourced and brought in daily.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chef Oland to our team, a transformational figure whose presence has already uplifted the spirit of our kitchen. With a deep dedication to mastering Spanish cuisine, Chef Oland brings a wealth of innovative ideas aimed at enhancing our food and beverage offerings. His meticulous approach to research, combined with his exceptional leadership skills mark him as a passionate and creative force,” said Mercat Food and Beverage Director, David Murphy.

Originally from New Jersey, Oland relocated to New York City in 1990 to pursue his culinary career, which began as the Assistant Banquet Prep Cook at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in NYC. During his tenure, Chef David was promoted to numerous roles including Chef of Fine Dining in 1992. Since then, his work has taken him across major cities in the U.S. and abroad – including working for the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, under Chef David Burke. Oland also served as the Executive Chef of the French restaurant Montparnasse, located just outside of the city Chicago. 

He also taught as an instructor at Kendall College’s School for Culinary Arts in Chicago and the French Culinary Institute in New York City. When he is not in Mercat a la Planxa cooking Spanish-inspired dishes, Chef Oland is often spending his time at Elawa Farms as a volunteer culinary instructor. 


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