Hotel Zachary restaurant Mordecai taps Jared Wentworth to head culinary operations

Hotel Zachary restaurant Mordecai taps Jared Wentworth to head culinary operations

Folkart Restaurant Management, opening Mordecai restaurant in the Hotel Zachary (3630 N. Clark St.) in April, just snagged itself a Michelin-starred chef.

Actually two stars, but who’s counting?

Jared Wentworth, who garnered a Michelin star each at Longman & Eagle and Dusek’s Board & Beer, and who engineered the revamping of Trench (three stars from me, but quickly abandoned when business was slow), will oversee the culinary operations for Mordecai.

“I really feel at home making food in great bars,” Wentworth said. “Mordecai has a super-deep list of aged spirits, and it’s great to be able to tailor the food around that. And I get to work with one of my culinary heroes.”

That would be Folkart proprietor Matthias Merges (Billy Sunday, A10, Gideon Sweet), who, for his part, declared himself to be “a longtime fan of chef Wentworth’s cooking.”

Early peeks at Wentworth’s opening menu show preparations with more sophistication and imagination than one might expect of a next-door-to-Wrigley Field operation. Snacks include cheese curds — but with bonito flakes and black-garlic aioli. There’s togarashi salt dusted on the soft pretzels, chicharron and barbecue carrots with the porchetta and a vegetarian composition of Moroccan-spiced romanesco, curry-infused carrots and harissa.

“I love to see (a menu) that’s approachable, but once you’re in there, you think, ‘Wow, what is that?’” Merges said. “That’s the sort of thing Jared does well.”

Mordecai (named for Hall of Fame Cubs pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown), is aiming for an April 2 debut, when the Cubs will be playing in Miami. Follow the restaurant’s progress at

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