Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Changes in the Kitchen at East Liberty's Spoon

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Changes in the Kitchen at East Liberty's Spoon

Article excerpt

Chef-owner Brian Pekarcik is heading back to the kitchen for day-to-day cooking at Spoon in East Liberty when executive chef Jamilka Borges wraps up a two-year stretch at the restaurant next week.

Ms. Borges is leaving to run the joint kitchen for Independent Brewing Co. and Hidden Harbor in Squirrel Hill. She also will be involved with a to-be-named restaurant from partners Peter Kurzweg and Adam Henry in the former Livermore space in East Liberty when it opens later this year.

As far as Mr. Pekarcik's decision to get back into the operations side - as opposed to tending to the big picture of S+P Restaurant Group, which includes several BRGR locations and Willow in Ohio Township - Mr. Pekarcik says, "I've always been in the kitchen." Dave Anoia and Ms. Borges, however, had control of the menus when they held the executive chef position.

Mr. Pekarcik opened Spoon in 2010 with business partner Richard Stern, and it's become the anchor of S+P Restaurant Group. First sous chef then executive chef, Mr. Anoia was running the kitchen in 2013 and left in May 2016 before opening his own restaurant, DiAnoia's Eatery in the Strip, with his now wife, Aimee DiAndrea. Ms. Borges, former head chef of Bar Marco - where she earned a nod as a James Beard "Rising Star Chef" semifinalist - led the kitchen at Spoon following Mr. Anoia's departure.

Ms. Borges shared on a post Thursday: "It's been 2 years since I joined the S+P restaurant group. During this time, we got to cook in over 6 cities, raised money for causes dear to my heart and had an incredible amount of fun, while maintaining our restaurant as one of the best in our city. Time has come for me to pursue new opportunities. I'm beyond grateful for the friendship, mentorship and the amount of trust that I have received from the one and only Brian Pekarcik. He is one of the most amazing humans I know and I'll miss him and the Spoon team greatly. …

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