George Mendes Holds Down the Wallsé Fort Until Help Arrives

George Mendes

George Mendes now cooks at Wallsé.Photo: Patrick McMullan

Having heard and read reports on Eater that the chefs at both of Kurt Gutenbrunner's restaurants had quit, we were on the trail of something juicy. Apparently, it isn't to be had. Gutenbrunner tells us that there are perfectly good explanations for the simultaneous departure of Mattias Froeschl from Wallsé and Martin Pirker from Blaue Gans. "I see it as a positive," the chef says. "People need experience, and now they will have more." Froeschel is moving to California with his new wife, and Pirker back to Austria to take over his family business. New chefs are on the way at both restaurants, but in the meantime Guttenbrunner is getting a helping hand from George Mendes, the former Tocqueville chef whose solo restaurant has been delayed longer than the Chinese space program. Guttenbrunner hasn't revealed the ID of his new chefs yet, but we'll let you know when we hear.

Update: Word comes from Kurt Guttenbrunner: The new chef at Wallsé will be Alex Roesch, from the two-star Michelin restaurant Tantris in Munich, who’s coming in January. Conny Quehenberger has been promoted at Blaue Gans and is currently running the kitchen there.