The Kitchen at the independent by Executive Chef Jamilka Borges
With Executive Chef Jamilka Borges at its helm, the kitchen at the Independent is dedicated to serving a menu of fine-casual cuisine that is as fun, thoughtful, and welcoming as the hospitality of the small, neighborhood restaurant in which it is served. Chef Borges was a 2019 nominee for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation Awards, returning to that prestigious list after her nomination for “Rising Star Chef” in 2015. In 2016, she was named a Rustbelt Rising Star Chef by StarChefs. In the kitchen, she combines her classical culinary training with the home-cooking traditions of her native Puerto Rico to create original food that is a reflection of herself and her unique culinary perspective. As a Chef, Borges has a remarkably wide range, which makes her the natural match for a restaurant with a focus on a curated selection of diverse beers. Like the Independent’s beer list, Chef Borges offers an ever-changing, wide-selection of dishes that can pair as well with a candle-lit dinner and a glass of oude lambic as they do with a night out with friends hoisting steins full of pilsner.
Prior to joining The Independent, Chef Borges served as Executive Chef at East Liberty's Spoon restaurant and Bar Marco, where she led programs to preserve local produce and develop menus based on availabilities from local farms. Her commitment to a unique “farm to table” dining experience led Bar Marco to be nominated for Best New Restaurant 2013 by Bon Appetit.
Currently she works with 412 Food Rescue, a non-profit organization that is looking to eliminate hunger while reducing food waste.