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The Goddess and Grocer team has announced the addition of new chefs to their team. The additions come as they gear up to open their fifth location in Chicago's West Loop (911 W Randolph St) Summer 2021.  

Chef Alisha Elenz is the new Chef de Cuisine of The Goddess and Grocer. She will be leading the menu at the West Loop location and having some dishes appear on the other location's menus too. Chef Alisha's previous experience includes stints at Maude's Liquor Bar, Waldorf Astoria, and bopNgrill. In May 2015, Elenz started working at MFK, a notable Spanish-influenced restaurant in Lakeview. Elenz was part of the team when the restaurant achieved three Bib Gourmands in three years. As a part-time prep cook, she quickly became sous chef and was then promoted to executive chef just shy of her 24th birthday. At MFK, Elenz was awarded Rising Chef of the Year at the Jean Banchet Awards in 2019 and was a finalist for a similar honor at the 2019 James Beard Awards. Elenz was recently featured on "Chopped New Gen" alongside some of the best up-and-coming chefs.  

Chef Mike Ciardi has joined the Goddess team as executive chef and oversees the menu for all Goddess locations and the catering department. Goddess visitors will see his takes on classic American fare in the prepared foods section, salad bar, and more. 

Chef Mike discovered a love of food while in New Orleans for college. He studied Music Industry at Loyola University with the dream of pursuing a career in the business side of the music industry. After graduating, Chef Mike moved to New York and began working as a music festival producer. Inspired by visits to the catering tents, he realized the food industry was more of a fit for his interests. He left the music industry to attend the French Culinary Institute. After graduation, he began his career as the chef at boutique food stores Radish and Union Market, where he revamped the prepared foods program. "I was working in the South Loop, and I saw an ad for The Goddess and Grocer and was intrigued. After meeting with owner Debbie Sharpe, I realized I had been eating Debbie's food at concerts for years during my time working in the music business. It was meant to be!" 

Chef Alysha Dinatale is the Executive Pastry Chef at The Goddess and Grocer and has been with the team since 2007. She is responsible for the bakery and pastry menu. In addition, she oversees desserts in almost 11 retail locations, shipping cakes nationally and creating inventive monthly dessert specials. She also manages all custom and special event dessert orders. Dinatale graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago and joined the Goddess team after graduating. She started as the Pastry Assistant, specifically decorating cupcakes. She has worked her way up to Executive Pastry Chef working alongside Debbie Sharpe, creating desserts for The Goddess and Grocer. Alysha is proud to have invented the Goddess Rainbow Cupcake and that Goldbelly, a national food shipping company, has highlighted Goddess' Rainbow and Oreo cakes as "Cake of the Month." Dinatale's creations have gained local attention with dessert TV segments showcasing her creations for Mother's Day, Pride Month, Chicago baseball, Thanksgiving, and more. 


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