In the cities of New York and Chicago there exists a sort of co-op market known as Eataly, This exciting concept has been found in markets around Europe for years, but it a less common idea in America, and is a great way to bring together many small restaurateurs and chefs in a collaboration that allows each to remain autonomous while ultimately collaborating on an overall experience for the consumer. As one might guess, Eataly centers on Italian cuisine, and gives visitors the opportunity to experience food from many regions of Italy, as well as the chance to buy authentic and unique products from small vendors or through the Eataly online shop.
This concept has been adopted by a great food experience creator, Chef Richard Sandoval, current developer of over 35 restaurants globally. Sandoval has decided to bring a similar concept, but centered on the huge variety of Latin food that is available, to Chicago. Latinicity will be another place where visitors can experience food from many parts of Mexico (something that Sandoval has pioneered worldwide), as well as dishes from other parts of Central and South America, served in eleven different stations, opening in October of this year.
Also exciting is Sandoval’s decision to acknowledge the influence of Spanish traditions and cuisine on decidedly disparate Latindishes. The incorporation of Spanish wines and a stand serving Spanish bocadillos, assures visitors that this is not any kitschy or co-oped version of Latin food. The addition of a produce market and the sale of cookware and recipe books also make the marketplace an all-encompassing business, something that Sandoval himself takes pride in creating, from his early attempts to create a complete dining experience in his restaurants.
If you’re passing by Chicago this fall, Latinicity, located in the trendy theater district downtown, is definitely a must-see!
(photo credit: Eater Chicago http://chicago.eater.com/2015/8/26/9211947/latinicity-renderings-richard-sandoval-food-hall-loop)