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New York
Meg Grace, formerly of the MOMA cafe, is serving family-style dinners Thursday nights at East Village bar The Redhead. Chef Grace's cooking is a fresh modern take on American traditional foods. Until recently these dinners have been invite-only, but as she prepares to expand dinner service to seven nights a week, Chef Grace is letting the public in on the secret.
Pastry Chef Josh Gripper has left A Voce for a pastry position at Daniel.
Bradford Thompson, formerly of Mary Elaine's at the Phoenician resort in Arizona, has been named the new chef of Lever House in New York City.
Scott Conant's (ex-L'Impero, Alto) Scarpetta opens on May 13th. An Italian expression meaning "little shoe" - or the shape bread takes when used to soak up a dish - Scarpetta represents the pure pleasure of savoring a meal down to its very last taste. Designed by S. Russell Groves, the space reflects Conant's honest and personal approach to Italian cuisine: equally grounded in tradition and modern interpretation. The airy 70-seat restaurant features a retractable roof in the main dining room and a long mahogany bar and a 20-seat café in the front. Scarpetta's bar offers a separate menu, along with wine tastings and wine-inspired cocktails. Guests can also dine outside in the 20-seat patio.
BarFry won't be closed long - Josh Dechellis's former tempura joint will reopen as Cabrito, a casual Mexican eatery helmed by longtime Zak Pelaccio lieutenant Dave Schuttenberg. The menu will feature slow-roasted goat, as the name implies, and will be open by next Friday.
Apotheke will open this summer in Chinatown, with Singaporean cuisine and cocktails from mixologist Albert Trummer (most recently of LA).
Rumor has it that Jonathan Waxman is in negotiations to take over the old Kurowycky Meats space on First Avenue in the East Village and turn it into a barbecue joint (much of the smoking equipment remains). There's been no official word yet from either party, however.
South Beach's Quattro Gastronomia Italiana will open its first New York outpost in the Trump Soho condominium in 2009. Twin chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro will work in the kitchen.
Anita Lo (chef of Annisa and consulting chef of Rickshaw dumpling bar) has unveiled her West Village Asian-inspired barbeque joint, Bar Q at 308-310 Bleecker St.
It looks like Andrew Carmellini is on the way out at A Voce. The restaurant is opening an uptown location (in the Time Warner Center) this year, but Carmellini may not be involved. Management is looking for "a young star with potential to become one of the trend setters in New step out from the shadow of his chef mentor."
Miami: Por Fin (Spanish for "at last"), is the new venture of Catalan chef Marc Vidal. The restaurant will feature Vidal's modern take on Spanish comfort food.
Palo Alto: Google's first chef, Charlie Ayers, is set to open a cafe and adjoining prepared-foods shop in Palo Alto. Ayers started in the Google cafeteria cooking for 40 employees, and as the company grew so did his responsibility. By the time he left in 2005, he supervised seven cafes that fed 5,000 employees and guests. In the meantime, Ayers has written a cookbook, Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google. His new venture will be called Calafia Cafe and Market a Go Go in Palo Alto's Town and Country Village, and will likely open in November.
Las Vegas: Bryan Ogden left Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas on April 30. He's set to open his own place in Los Angeles in June, and then open in Miami later this year. Bryan served as his father Bradley's senior sous chef from the restaurant's opening in 2003.
Las Vegas: Pastry Chef Sabrina Shin has left her post as Executive Pastry Chef at Twin Creeks.
Nicholas Matteo and Nicholas Sweeney, both formerly of Morimoto, are opening a restaurant in Pennsport called - what else? - Nicholas. They are taking over the old Caffe Carmen space.
Christian Schaffer, former owner of Avenue in Manhattan Beach and Ojai in Los Angeles, is on his way out of the restaurant game. He says he wants to spend more time with his family and has no future timeline for getting back into professional cooking.
San Francisco
Noriyuki Sugie, formerly of Asiate in New York, is opening a Japanese "auberge" on Haight Street in San Francisco. The concept is modeled after a Japanese Ryokan, which is like a little inn. The idea is that the restaurant and food will just be for guests only and will be seasonal and ever-changing; there is no exact menu. He hasn't come up with a name yet but has been hosting events there and will be more officially open in the summer.

The space used to be the Spencer House and is at 1080 Haight Street.
Evan Rich, formerly of Sumile in New York City, is now the chef of San Francisco's Quince
New Orleans
Café Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar, a member of the Commander's Palace Family of Restaurants, appointed Chris Lusk as executive chef. Chris Lusk most recently served as executive chef at Vin Bistro in Austin, Texas. Prior to Vin Bistro, Chris served as a sous chef at Mario Batali's Otto Enoteca in New York City, Commander's Palace in New Orleans, La. and Star Canyon in Dallas, Texas.

Danny Trace, Café Adelaide's executive chef for nearly three years, has been appointed executive chef of the group's newest restaurant, Commander's Palace & the On The Rocks Bar at HarborWalk Village in Destin, Flor., opening July 2008.

Chicago foie gras ban is officially lifted!
Word on the street is that Chicago's foie gras ban is on the verge of being lifted. The ban, implemented in the summer of 2006, forbids sale of foie gras in restaurants. Many chefs have circumvented the ban by adding foie gras to dishes "for free." We imagine they'll be happy to start charging once again...
Randy Zweiban (of Nacional 27) announces new restaurant, set to open September 2008. We've heard he's leaving Nacional 27, but these rumors are unconfirmed...
A few highlights from the soon-to-come graham elliot menu:

Signature Caesar salad, romaine lettuce, white anchovies, Parmesan fluff, brioche Twinkie croutons

Aged Cheddar risotto, Pabst-glazed pearl onions, Granny Smith apples, crispy prosciutto, Cheez-It crackers

Honey-lacquered Amish chicken, haricot vert slaw, fingerling potato salad, fried pickles, bacon-ranch gravy

Restaurant graham elliot from Chef Graham Elliot Bowles is set for a May 13 opening. The theme is "bistronomic," the sous chef is Leonard Hollander, and the location is 217 West Huron Street. It will serve dinner Tuesday-Saturday, as well as late-night food and bar food.
Stephan Trummer has left 202 in Chelsea Market and decamped - permanently - for Washington D.C., where he plans to open his own place. Trummer says: "Its going to be a fine dining restaurant, new American, sustainable efforts, 250 seat and a bar/ lounge on the first floor. Its a beautiful setting just like French Laundry. It's located in an old historic town."
Chef Scott Serpas and Restaurateur Bob Amick of Concentrics Hospitality, who partnered to open TWO Urban Licks, are set to open Parish in late May. Located in The Shops at N. Highland Steel, the restaurant will take its inspiration from New Orleans and offer Cajun fare.

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