Chef Jose Rivera originally born in Guatemala, but made Chicago his home for the last 35 yrs; with twenty-five of those years being devoted to the restaurant business. Chef is an all-around operator but really found his sweet spot and passion in the heat of the kitchen. Jose is a complete chef with a full global culinary background, from French and Italian classics to Asian inspired dishes, and always adding his own personal touches to bring something unique to our tables. Chef has led various Chicago kitchens, such as Morton’s, Phil and Lou's and La Gondola Chicago. Currently he is the Corporate Executive Chef for the Black Barrel Tavern in the West Loop.
Some of Jose's notable accomplishments were, 1995 awarded 2.5 start by Pat Bruno of Chicago Tribune with the former Madison Restaurant in the West Loop. Second in Top Ten, 2005 while working in Phil and Lou’s, ABC Channel 7 News Awarded the restaurant 3.5 stars; later the same restaurant was nominated second in Top Ten, staying just below Harry Caray's. Currently the Kitchen at the Black Barrel offers a "from-scratch-menu”, with a modern contemporary American fare meets comfort food. From decadent brunch skillets to Louisiana-style Cajun soft- shell crab with lemon beurre blanc . There is something for everyone!