Chodorow Repudiates Celebrity Chefs, Opens Fish RestaurantIt wasn’t hard to see, after Jeffrey Chodorow’s infamous dustup with Rocco DiSpirito three years ago, that he had about had it with celebrity chefs. Except, apparently, he hadn’t: Chodorow hired Todd English a year later, in hopes, futile, that he’d redeem Tuscan, successor to Tuscan Steak. Earlier this week it was revealed that English Is Italian, the third restaurant to fill that space, will also bite the dust. Finally, Chodorow’s group is determined to avoid celebrity chefs. English Is Italian closes March 17. Wild Salmon, a seafood restaurant with a Pacific Northwest vibe, is slated to open in its place the first week of April.
Chodorow and Payard May Also Ride Gravy Train to VegasThis morning we wrote that Artisanal owner Terrance Brennan may go prospecting for a new restaurant opportunity in Las Vegas. Looks like he might not be the only New Yorker with that idea. The real-estate broker who originally tipped us off says Jeffrey Chodorow, who already helms five spots in Sin City, is apparently looking for a place in which to install another branch of Asia de Cuba. Chodorow’s spokesperson would not comment. François Payard of Payard Patisserie & Bistro, meanwhile, openly tells us of his Vegas ambitions: “Yes, I’m working on a project in Las Vegas with Caesar’s Palace. It will be a small chocolate pastry shop called Payard. Most likely it’ll be open next year.”
— Daniel Maurer
Earlier: Terrance Brennan to Make Vegas Just a Little Bit Cheesier?
Jeffrey Chodorow: I Am Not a Cheapskate
We recently speculated as to why Jeffrey Chodorow decided against hiring Sumile chef Josh DeChellis to head up the imminent Kobe Club. Could the decision, we suggested, have to do with food costs? DeChellis is a high-concept aesthete, and Chodorow a famously thrifty businessman. But we had it all wrong, the China Grill mogul tells us. “The fact that I’m efficient doesn’t mean I skimp on ingredients. The reason we ended up not going with Josh was that he wanted to do something that was avant-garde Japanese, and we wanted to go more mainstream. We’re sparing no expense with our ingredients; given how much we’re spending on meat, it would be silly to skimp on anything else.”
Earlier: Josh DeChellis, Kobe Club Break Up But Are Still Friends
Josh DeChellis, Kobe Club Break Up But Are Still FriendsJeffrey Chodorow’s imminent, elite-meat Kobe Club is out one chef: Josh DeChellis of Sumile will not be helming the kitchen when the restaurant opens in December. “Jeffrey Chodorow and company wanted to take their concept in more mainstream direction. We still maintain a good relationship,” DeChellis tells us. (Given how committed DeChellis is to using the very best ingredients and Chodorow’s reputation as a supremely efficient businessman, we’re guessing things might’ve broken down over the question of food costs.) Meanwhile, the chef, whose high-powered fusion cooking is still wowing them at Sumile, has plenty of other sashimi to slice: “I’m installing a sushi bar at Sumile [in mid-December], and I’m opening Sumile Tokyo next week.”
Zak Pelaccio Opening New Restaurant — in LondonWe were as surprised as all get-out to hear via Eater that Zak Pelaccio and Jeffrey Chodorow are planning to take Fatty Crab national. So we called Pelaccio: “It’s simply inaccurate,” the chef tells us. “I don’t know where Eater gets their info, but it’s not from me nor any of my business partners.” Fine — we Web types sometimes get the wrong information. But then, Pelaccio delivered a real bit of news: He’ll be taking over Alain Ducasse’s Spoon (owned by Jeffrey Chodorow) in the Sanderson Hotel in London and launching a Malaysian restaurant as consulting chef. “But that has nothing to do with Fatty Crab or even America,” he adds. But it has everything to do with a local guy making good.
EaterWire: Ramsay Lands, Drops Two-Hour Time Limit, Boxer’s Loses Their Lease, Fatty Crab Goes National! [Eater]