Amanda Rockman, whose pastry wizardry at Balena (1633 N. Halsted St., 312-867-3888) and The Bristol (2152 N. Damen Ave., 773-862-5555) earned her a Chicago Tribune Dining Award earlier this year, will leave her two-restaurant gig in two weeks.
Rockman's last day will be Feb. 23, she said.
"It's kind of big for me," Rockman said. "(Balena and The Bristol) have been a big part of my last three years. But all things come to an end; I turned 31 this year, and it's time to do something new. I have nothing but love and respect for (Boka Group owners Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz); they've done nothing but advocate for pastry, and they've let me do what I love to do, which is make pastry all the time. But I have great assistants and it's a great program, and they can keep it going."
Rockman confirmed that another project is in the works, though she's keeping mum about details for now. She would only confirm that it's in Chicago ("This is my city, where I feel at home," she said).
"It'll be a lot different," she added. "It'll be interesting to see what people think."
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