Plate’s Chef Shuffles for the week of Feb. 17

Former Le Bernardin Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis announced he will become the creative director of the Institute of Culinary Education in March. Robert Aita is leaving Fiore to start his own restaurant – possibly called Aita – which should open in three to four months in the old Speakeasy space. Ricky King is now the executive chef of both Hundred Acres and Five Points. A second location of Roberto Santibañez’s Fonda opened, as did Buddha Beer BarBrabant Belgian Brasserie, the Spanish-Chinese El Paraiso, Yunnan-focused Chinese restaurant Lotus Blue Restaurant Bar, pasta palace Vucciria, grilled cheese shop Say Cheese and California-based Wahoo’s Fish Taco.

Blue Bottle gourmet coffee is set to open its latest location this weekend. Michael Toscano (Manzo) is on board as a chef-partner at Gabriel Stulman’s Perla, which is currently slated for a mid-March opening. Vegetarian virtuoso Candle Café will open a sister spot – Candle Café West – which has its sights set on April for a debut. San Francisco’s Mission Chinese Food will open a New York location this spring. This summer, Sag Harbor’s Sen will open a local location with Wayne Nish (Nish) in the kitchen.

Finish reading this week’s Chef Shuffles on Plate‘s website now.

Photo of Roberto Santibañez, Fonda


Plate’s Chef Shuffles for the week of Jan. 27

Joseph Murphy (BLT Market) is the new pastry chef at Jean-Georges and Filippo Gozzoli is the new chef at Sirio Ristorante at the Pierre HotelShanna Pacifico left Back Forty to helm the stoves at the eatery’s forthcoming sister restaurant, Back Forty West, in the old Savoy space. Former Roberta’s chef Jamie Klotz has been hired by the Beer Table to prepare family-style dinners on Wednesday nights. Peru Almandoz is out at the recently opened Mercado at KentMikel Trevino (Bilbao) has been hired as his replacement.

Alison Price Becker (Alison) will open Alison Eighteen on Tuesday with Robert Gurvich in the kitchen, just like old times. Palo Santo’s Jacques Gautier has just opened BBQ joint Fort Reno with Lia Forman (Palo Santo) serving as pit master. Bar Corvo, an Italian eatery from the Al di Là team; Mexican-style tapas bar Pampano Botaneria; the grab ‘n’ go Smile to Go, and the Aegean small plates concept Lulu & Me Gastrobar all welcomed their first diners. American fare and fresh donuts are now available at 606 R&D courtesy of Ilene Rosen (City Bakery).

The Masa culinary team will open a Japanese joint, Neta, in the old Patty & Bun space next month. Le Cirque is hitting the road with a series of pop-up restaurants in California, Texas, Chicago and Atlanta that will show off new chef Olivier Reginensi.

Pillar & Plough closed abruptly after only being in business for two months.

Finish reading this week’s Chef Shuffles on Plate‘s website now.


Five Minutes With… L2O’s Matthew Kirkley

Matthew Kirkley’s first restaurant job was working as a busboy atthe Melting Pot fondue chain’s outlet in Baltimore. From there he moved into the kitchen and then on to culinary school. He quickly discovered that seafood – not gooey pots of cheese – was his forte, so after graduation he began his career at Philadelphia’s Striped Bass. Since then, he has manned the stoves at some of Chicago’s and Las Vegas’ most respected establishments, including NoMI,Four Seasons ChicagoRIA at the Elysian Hotel and Joël Robuchon at the Mansion at MGM Grand.

Kirkley was recently appointed executive chef at Chicago’s celebrated L2O, which marks his second time working at the Michelin-starred restaurant; he helped open it in 2008. He took a few minutes to chat with us about his longstanding love of spatulas, butter and punk rock.

Find out his answers by clicking through to Plate‘s website now.


Plate’s Chef Shuffles for the week of January 6

Barbuto’s Jonathan Waxman is now consulting for Rosa Mexicanoon a series of special menus. Danny Meyers is opening a new Blue Smoke with Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Held, who worked at the original location, in charge of the kitchen. Darryl Burnette (BG at Bergdorf Goodman) is the new top toque at 5 & Diamond. Keedick Coulter opened the Southern-centric Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter. Dumpling palace Canteen 82 is back after leaving the scene for a year. Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig are thinking about opening a British concept in the former Oliva space. L’Asso pizzeria opened a second site, Luis Gonzalez (Cienfuegos) opened a second Bourgeois Pig location and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse welcomed a fourth location to its wolfpack. Fatty Cue is closed for renovations but is set to reopen in mid-March.

Rocco Ristorante, the Upper East Side location of Accademia de VinoPoloniaItzocan Café, The Palace, Tillie’s, and Kappa Sake House have all closed. Korean-styled BCD Tofu House and French-Chinese Tse Yang shuttered as well, though both sets of owners plan to open new locations in Manhattan later this year.

 Finish reading this week’s Chef Shuffles on the Plate website now.

Photo of RJ Cooper courtesy of Rogue 24.


Plate’s Chef Shuffles for the week of December 9

Executive Chef Xavier Boyer has left L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and returned to Paris for personal reasons. Sandro Michelli is now the pastry chef at Daniel after leaving Adour, while Caviar Russe announced the appointment of two Adour alums: Executive Chef Christopher Agnew and Executive Sous Chef Alex Dilling.

There were a bevy of openings in the post-Thanksgiving week: Little Brother BBQ fired up, Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar West Village poured its first glasses of vino, modern Mexican eatery Tepito said “Hola,” Butcher Bar started slicing, Kos Kaffe Roasting House began brewing, PizzaGaga (no relation to the Lady) heated up the ovens, the French-meets-Latin small plates concept Barrio 47 began service, and the Vietnamese eatery Sao Mai opened in the former Quantum Leap space. Alex Stratta (Alex) opened the Italian-focused Bigoli in the former Gonzo space. Cochinita reopened after a fire forced it to shut down for repairs. Single concept eatery Puddin’ has started dishing out dessert. An overload of offshoots opened, including those from STKValbellaPecanVanessa’s Dumplings, and Pera, which features Ryan Skeen (Resto) putting his spin on Turkish cuisine. This weekend, Stephen Starr opens Italian eatery Caffè Storico in the New York Historical Society with Jim Burke (James) in the kitchen. Dining-in-the-dark concept Dans Le Noir? is hoping to turn off the lights and open its doors this weekend as well. L’Orange Bleue has shuttered for renovations that will see it closed until the spring.

In mid-January, the seasonal American eatery Carlton Park will open in the old M. Helen Kitchen space and Steak and Shake will open its first area location. Top Chef’s Stephen Asprinio will open the smart-casual Pizza Vinoteca this spring. Gabriel Stulman (Fedora) has signed a lease for the old Bellavitae space; he plans to open a new Italian restaurant called Scopa.

Sam Bahri steakhouse has shuttered, as has Spanish Taverna and LES SushiChristie’s Jamaican Patties will shutter at the end of the month after 40 years in business. Abistro closed down its original location, but its second location remains open.

Finish reading this week’s Chef Shuffles on Plate‘s website now.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Asprinio.


Plate’s Chef Shuffles for the week of Dec. 2

Craig Hopson is hopping away from Le Cirque to join the team at The BrewsterOliver Reginensi will leave The Americano to take Hopson’s place on Jan. 9. Greg Baxtron (Blue Hill at Stone Barns) has found a temporary home at North End Grill for the next six months; he hopes to open his own concept after that stint.

This week’s crop of openings includes the seasonally inspired Basik, Williamsburg fave Walter Foods’ second location, German-Italian-inspired Buschenschank, hummus ‘n’ falafel loving Pitopia, and modern Jewish eatery Kutsher’sLaura Maniec (B.R. Guest) opened the wine bar and vino education center Corkbuzz Wine StudioSadie’s Kitchen is now serving all different kinds of mac and cheese, including one with smoked duck. Parm expands from lunch service to dinner service as well, and 63-year-old luncheonette Hinsch’s has reopened under new ownership.

Former Momofuku Noodle Bar Chef de Cuisine Kevin Pemoulie plans to open Thirty Acres in Jersey City in February.

And we are sad to report that Russell Ciolli, one of the owners of Grimaldi’s Pizza, has died.

Finish reading this week’s Chef’s Shuffles on Plate’s website now.

Photo of Laura Maniec courtesy of Corkbuzz Wine Studio.


Plate’s Chef Shuffles for the week of Nov. 18

Josh Eden (Shorty’s .32) has resurfaced as the executive chef at August, taking over from Jordan Frosolone. Lani Kai welcomes Sawako Okochi (Annisa) to the fold, and Jeremy Personius(Faustina) has big plans for his new gig at Spina, including housemade sausage. William Knapp (Craft) has moved on to Table d’Hote, and Ma Pêche’s maitre d’ Colby Lehman has left the building.  Meanwhile, Andrés Julian Grundy (Bouley) works ambitious ingredients like beef heart and razor clams into his debut menu at the just-opened Pillar & PloughGwynnett St. debuted with a hearty, seasonal menu. Devon Gilroy (East Side Social Club) focuses on Mediterranean fare at the newly opened Amali, while Matt Redington (Spice Market) puts an Aegean spin on American cuisine at The Orchard House, which just threw open its doors. Strictly Italian junkies can get their fix at Capizzi or Paul Di Bari’s (StuzzicheriaZi Pep, both of which just opened. A pair of ballsy new ventures joins the scene: Meatball Shop West Village andMeatball FactoryAinsworth Prime in Madison Square Garden is now open, but only to club ticket holders and guests at MSG events. Hand-held Argentinean street food kiosk Nuchas has opened. Work in Progress (aka W.I.P.) opened in the basement of Greenhouse and restaurant-lounge Ludlow Manor throws open its doors this weekend. Meanwhile, Mama’s added a Williamsburg location, Eastern European-styled Bear opened with Natasha Pogrebinsky (The Castello Plan) rallying the troops in the kitchen and Alobar opened with a New American menu that is set to evolve over the next few weeks. Alan Park has opened Bistro Petit.

It looks like Ian Schrager will bring his Public hotel-chain to the Big Apple. The new location will offer a 10,000 square foot restaurant.Christos Valtzoglou (Pylos) is looking to open a Greek spot in the former Heartbreak space.

Quantum Leap may close soon due to rent increases.

Finish reading about chef shuffles in the rest of the country over at the Plate website now.


Plate’s Chef Shuffles for the week of Nov. 11

In New York City…

To the victor go the spoils, or so the saying goes. The newly opened Viktor & Spoils in the Hotel on Rivington, offers tacos and tequila – what the eatery calls “culinarias guerrilla.” The team behind Franklin Park and Southpaw opens The Crown Inn in Crown Heights today, where tipplers will have access to 40 types of bourbon, a dozen craft brews, and a broad selection of comfort food. Meanwhile, a trio of sisters has opened Tre Sorelle, a reasonably priced Italian restaurant that focuses on the classics. Nearby, sports fans cheer the opening of AOA Bar & Grill, which features Chef Nadav Cohen’s upscale take on bar food classics, including truffle mac ‘n’ cheese. The long-loved Veselka gets a sister restaurant with the opening of Veselka Bowery, which now serves dinner and will soon be open 24-7. The Meatball Shop opened its fourth location with 50 seats and a small bar. The crew behind Mary Queen of Scots and Highlands has opened Whitehall in the old Sweetiepie space, where diners nosh on modern British cuisine while perching on green park benches. Farm-to-table restaurant Goat Town quietly welcomed a new chef: Julie Farias (General Greene), who will debut her new menu by the end of the month.

Man-about-town Ryan Skeen—who has had a series of much-discussed gigs at Allen & DelanceyIrving Mill5 & Diamond and Fish Tag—will helm the kitchen at Pera Soho when it opens next month. After months of speculation, Michael White has confirmed that he is, in fact, working on a pizzeria; Nicoletta is aiming for a spring opening.

Executive Chef Sam Talbot has resigned from Imperial No. Nine after eight months; Chef de Cuisine Yousef Ghalaini has stepped up to be interim Executive Chef.

Polish-American favorite S&B Restaurant has said “do widzenia” (goodbye), while 5-year-old Moroccan eatery Babouche has shuttered in Park Slope. Vynl closed and Eton on Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights has also shut down, though its Gowanus location is still running.

We are sad to report that 91-year-old Fedora Dorato, who owned Fedora for decades before selling it last year, has passed away.

Get the lowdown on news from the rest of the country over on the Plate website now. 

Photo of Nicoletta’s Michael White courtesy of Evan Sung.