George Mendes Holds Down the Wallsé Fort Until Help ArrivesHaving 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.
Le Bernardin Lands the ‘Best Sommelier in America’
When Wallsé’s Aldo Sohm won the American Sommelier Association’s competition last month, we suspected he’d soon be in charge of a bigger wine program. Now we hear that he is taking over as wine director of Le Bernardin.
So You Thought Boiling Asparagus Was Easy, Eh?
Given that white asparagus comes around rarely and then only briefly, it makes sense to do everything possible to make it right. To that end, Rob and Robin have recruited Wallsé chef Kurt Gutenbrunner to demonstrate a method for slicing and boiling the vegetables. It’s so foolproof that even the most ham-handed New Yorker can execute it in his own home kitchen.