Chef Tour: Daniel Espinoza

DanielIntroducing Chef Danny from the Dinner Lab Chef Tour. 9 Chefs, 10 cities and at the end of it all 1 will have a restaurant.

Some call him the male equivalent of the Lady Guadalupe, while others call him the most huggable Mexican in Chicago. One thing is certain: his cuisine has placed him on the shortlist for sainthood. As a man of the people, he has travelled the world in pursuit of culinary gifts and Michelin stars to bring back to his windy city disciples. His food shines with the luster of plates from Bistro des Saveurs Castres and Mexique, with the approachability of a humble Mexican mercado. !Es la comida mexicana de la gente¡

About the menu:

“This is my interpretation of my roots as a Mexican. The idea behind it is delivering approachable, modern Mexican cuisine that is straightforward. I’m trying to deliver, more or less, the nostalgic moment that I get when I eat these dishes. I never want to forget where the ingredients and certain components come from, but I want to showcase the refined touch of it all. I want to deliver a smile by providing a well-balanced approach to the food that has brought me up until now.”


Chicago, IL

Current city:

Chicago, IL


Mexique, The Ausable, Bistro de Saveurs, Kendall College

Past experience:

The Drawing Room, Mexique, Carmichael’s Steakhouse (all Chicago) Bistro de Saveurs (France), The Ausable Club (Upstate NY)

Favorite drink:

Son of a Crusta at Billy Sunday (Chicago), or a glass of Delirium Tremens at Beer Bistro (Chicago)

Dream Restaurant Concept:

“I really want my place to be remembered as an experience based on food, without the pretentiousness of the atmosphere. Brick & wood decor similar to my grandmother’s house and abstract art created by a local Pilsen artist, my restaurant would also be their gallery where you can buy the art.  It’s all about striving for greatness and pouring my heart out.”

The Chef from Carlos Martinez on Vimeo.