Growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico, Chef Armando Gonzalez was surrounded by the unique flavors of his country. His mother ran a fonda in town, helping to plant Gonzalez’s culinary roots deep into Mexico. During his schooling, Gonzalez learned to develop an uncanny ability to perfectly pair flavors that result in robust and delicious menu items. After he completed his schooling, Gonzalez spent time peeling potatoes, washing dishes and observing the day to day preparation of traditional Latin-American foods that continue to inspire him today.
For the past decade, Gonzalez has been manning the kitchen at some of Chicago’s best-known restaurants. After stints, ranging from a couple of months to a few years, at Mas, Bin 36 and mk, Gonzalez has learned outstanding culinary skills that he will be able to keep in his repertoire forever. With such excellent experience, Gonzalez wanted to showcase them in a kitchen he could call his own, leading to a partnership with Marcos Rivera and Omar Magaña to open Libertad in Skokie, IL.
After having struggled for so long to make a living as a chef, Gonzalez chose the name Libertad to represent the freedom he now has in his kitchen, encouraging himself to explore different flavor possibilities. Offering diners Latin-American flavors, Gonzalez’s approach is modern yet draws inspiration from family and the traditional ingredients he worked with growing up in Mexico.