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Intro Chef Opening Restaurant Across From Dusek's In Pilsen This Summer

By Stephanie Lulay | April 26, 2017 12:00pm
 Chef Stephen Gillanders, partner/executive chef at INTRO, will open S.K.Y. in Pilsen this summer.
Chef Stephen Gillanders, partner/executive chef at INTRO, will open S.K.Y. in Pilsen this summer.
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Intro Chicago

PILSEN — A new restaurant helmed by the executive chef of Intro in Lincoln Park will open up across from Dusek's in Pilsen this summer. 

Stephen Gillanders, executive chef and partner at Lettuce Entertain You's Intro, will open S.K.Y., a new restaurant at 1239 W. 18th St. in Pilsen late this summer. 

Gillanders, known for innovative American cuisine with bold flavors inspired by his travels in Asia and Europe, aims to bring "an approachable but refined dining experience" to 18th Street, according to a news release.

S.K.Y.'s menu will feature a rotating a la carte menu of small and larger plates ideal for sharing, with items that include Maine lobster dumplings with jade butter and herbs; foie gras bibimbap with charred asparagus and mushroom bulgogi; and a banana budino with cocoa nib granola and bourbon.

A Los Angeles native, Gillanders previously planned to open his first restaurant in Los Angeles, but after a temporary stint at Intro, he fell in love with Chicago. Gillanders said he ultimately chose to open up a restaurant in Pilsen because he was attracted to the neighborhood's robust art culture and community.

“Chicago has always impressed me as a dining destination, and I am thrilled and beyond grateful to become a part of it. This location is exactly what I have envisioned," Gillanders said.

The 80-seat restaurant, featuring an open dining area and bar, will initially serve dinner and weekend brunch with plans to open for weekday lunch later. The restaurant will offer an intimate chef's counter experience for up to four guests. 

The location at 18th and Allport streets is getting a complete renovation that will offer a casual, minimalistic design. 

Fascinated with food from a young age, Gillanders spent his childhood in the kitchen next to his Filipino grandmother and later attended culinary school in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Gillanders won the San Pellegrino "Almost Famous Chef" competition as a student at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and went on to work at several of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants, opening nine of them across the world. 

In 2016, Gillanders joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ Intro for a three-month chef-in-residence position, which turned into a permanent role as chef/partner.