Chef Dávila, an accomplished and innovative culinary talent, returns to Chicago after a six-year stint in Washington D.C. to develop a Mexican-inspired menu for an upcoming restaurant to open in late 2014. Chef Dávila has spent an extensive amount of time travelling across Mexico. Through her personal experiences and search for creative inspiration, she’ll be reinventing authentic Mexican food through the use of seasonal ingredients and modern techniques. Chef Dávila looks to develop a menu that will change seasonally and incorporate ceviches, small plates, taqueria and entrees with ingredients sourced from Midwestern farms. Chef Dávila grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and has spent time in the kitchen since childhood, beginning with working in her parent’s taqueria at the age of 10, which then led to the start of her culinary career at the age of 20 as the executive chef of their upscale dining concept, Hacienda Jalapeños.
After a year leading the kitchen, at the age of 21, she received rare recognition with a 2-star review from Phil Vettel at the Chicago Tribune and was called a “Mexican marvel” by the Chicago Sun-Times. To continue her culinary exploration, Chef Dávila studied under Chef Susana Trilling at the Seasons of the Heart culinary school in Oaxaca, Mexico. Leaving her family’s restaurant to diversify her culinary palette, she went to one of 2005 Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurants”, Butter and cooked under the direction of Ryan Poli. In 2007, she accepted a new opportunity to work alongside Guiseppe Tentori as the fish cook at Boka. In 2008, she took a break from the Chicago winters and landed in D.C, where she spent four years under the wings of well-known restaurateur, Jackie Greenbaum. She helped Greenbaum conceptualize, develop and build Greenbaum’s innovative restaurant concepts – Jackie’s, Sidebar and El Chucho as an executive chef and most recently as chef consultant of Bar Charley.
Chef Dávila was recognized by the Washingtonian as a “Rising Star” in 2010 and has been named a female force by Washington Life during her time in D.C. Whether it’s modern American to contemporary cuisine, Chef Dávila’s style translates to every culinary genre – keeping it simple, cooking seasonally and understanding the ingredients. This summer, Chef Dávila will spend her time applying the breadth of her experience and culinary talent at Cantina 1910 which is now open to the public!