The last few days and weeks has seen a merry go round of SLC chefs at local restaurants. So much so, here’s a quick recap of some of the more notable changes.
Greg Neville is no longer associated with East side Italian eatery Lugano and is instead moving on to the Solitude Resort. Jonah Hornsby, former chef di cucina, has taken over the restaurant bringing chef Barney Northrop on board. Speaking to Hornsby he told me:
“My vision is to build on the concept that Greg had created but update the kitchen methods, use more local products, modernize presentations and elevate service. We have hired a restaurant consultant and a new chef di cucina and are excited about the direction we are heading”. On chef Northrop he also continued:
“he worked at Lugano years ago and since has been rolling sushi at Tsunami for a few years and has ran a few other kitchens. The menu is very close to Greg’s concepts but we have changed the recipes. The nightly specials are really where the chef gets creative. Last week we had Seared Diver Scallops, stewed cannellini beans, romesco and crispy prosciutto as an appetizer on the special list as well as a sashimi grade yellowfin tuna, organic rugula, white truffles, Hawaiian black salt, blood orange puree, shaved manchego and finished with a very aromatic EVOO”.
Sounds delicious and definitely one to keep an eye on.
3364 S 2300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
A little further South in Holladay chef Franck Peissel has now departed his namesake Franck’s restaurant. The creative Peissel is now focusing on his own range of chocolates plus offering cooking classes to those eager to learn form his culinary wizardry. More details on this as we hear more ourselves.
In his place Robert Perkins, Sous Chef at Franck’s (since Franck’s inception), has been promoted to executive chef. The restaurant’s marketing department explained: “Robert was an amazing and necessary part of the duo of chefs along with Franck and creator of many of the delicious dishes and sole creator of the amazing soups. Robert was promoted with the departure of our longtime friend Franck Peissel. We are excited that Roberts experience and creativity will continue the tradition of exciting new dishes at Utah’s finest French Restaurant “Franck’s”!“.
6263 S Holladay Blvd, Holladay, UT 84121
Billy Sotelo, former executive chef at the La Salle Group (Oasis Cafe and Faustina) is now three months into his stint as new executive chef at La Caille. Previous stops for Sotelo include Glitretind, the Garden Cafe at Grand America Hotel and Fresco where he secured the restaurant Salt Lake Magazine’s “Best Italian” and “Best Restaurant” awards in 2009.
New dishes on the La Caille menu from Sotelo include Butter Poached Maine Lobster (featured image above) with lobster corn stuffing, broccolini and sweet pea buerre blanc ($54.00) and Potato Crusted Sea Bass (pictured left) with braised leeks, green lentils and tarragon pernod cream ($48.00).
9565 S Wasatch Blvd, Sandy, UT 84092
With Sotelo departing, Jared Young takes the executive chef reigns at both Oasis and Faustina. Efren Benitez is promoted through the ranks to chef de cuisine at Oasis Café and Joe Kemp is now chef de cuisine at Faustina. Both restaurants are already seeing menu tweaks and changes from their new team.
Faustina recently added a new small plates menu to their eclectic menu running $6-$12. Highlights include bacon wrapped dates with almond, sweet soy and balsamic drizzle and goat cheese; filet two ways (Oscar and au poivre); beet carpaccio with Gorgonzola, orange segments and young arugula; lump crab cakes with sweet potato hash and avocado cream.
At Oasis Cafe, the restaurant continues to build on their reputation for great brunch and lunches – evolving their dinner menu month in month out. Over the past few months, I’ve enjoyed some fine evening meals at the restaurant including Butter Poached King Crab (pictured left higher) with asparagus risotto, sweet pea emulsion sauce ($24) and Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna (pictured left lower) with phō noodles, stir fried vegetables and carrot ginger lemongrass broth ($23).
151 S 500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
454 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.