José Sosa is the executive chef of Gibsons Italia, a modern Italian steakhouse in Chicago’s West Loop. Gibsons Italia is part of Gibsons Restaurant Group (GRG), which includes Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, LUXBAR and Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar. In addition, GRG manages premier organizations, including RL Restaurant in Chicago and The Polo Bar in New York on behalf of Ralph Lauren.
Growing up in a small town outside of Mexico City, Sosa spent most of his days working on his grandparents’ farm. He developed a strong work ethic and connection with nature, two values that are reflected in his cooking today.
At the age of 16, Sosa moved to Chicago and began his culinary career with stints at Ambria, a fine-dining restaurant at the Belden-Stratford Hotel, and Boka, a Michelin-starred contemporary American restaurant. In 2008, Sosa joined Gibsons Restaurant Group and began working his way up the ranks to the role of executive chef at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House and then LUXBAR in the Gold Coast neighborhood. At LUXBAR, Sosa revamped the menu by featuring seasonal, farm-fresh dishes. As executive chef, he worked with local farmers and secured relationships with the wineries, cheesemakers and oyster farms that produce the highest quality ingredients in the country.
In preparation for Gibsons Italia, Sosa trained under chef John Coletta (Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar) for nearly two years, deepening his knowledge of authentic Italian ingredients and techniques. Sosa oversees the menu of Italian dishes and American steakhouse classics conceived by chef Coletta. The menu features quality ingredients sourced from around the globe, including gold-extruded pasta and seven-year aged risotto rice, as well as Australian grass-fed Wagyu, Japanese pure Kobe and USDA Gibsons Prime Angus steaks. Gibsons Restaurant Group is the first and only restaurant group in the country to have its own USDA Prime certification.
When he’s not in the kitchen, Sosa can be found spending time with his family and jogging around Lake Michigan.