Some exciting news, courtesy of my friend Plinio Sandalio, pastry chef extraordinaire…
Both Chef Jonathan Jones and Plinio have left the new Americas in The Woodlands. I’m not going to make any remarks on the Cordua group‘s remarkable ability to hire amazing chefs (i.e. Randy Rucker) and then mysteriously lose them, since I don’t know the ins and outs of their business or what goes on behind the scenes. All I’m going to say is that we’re very lucky to have Jonathan and Plinio back in Houston where they belong.
Jonathan will be the new head chef at Monica Pope’s modern/upscale icehouse cum barbeque joint (it’s indefinable, I tell ya…) Beaver’s, where he’s taking the place of Dax McAnear, who will be working with Scott Tycer at his highly-anticipated Heights restaurant, Textile. Phew!
Joining Scott Tycer’s motley brigade is Plinio, who will be the new pastry chef at Gravitas (where he has big plans to totally shake up their dessert menu) and could potentially be at Textile, too. The prospect of working at both restaurants is exciting since, according to Plinio, “it would be a perfect balance of bistro desserts and modern desserts.” I’m excited, too!
Playing musical restaurants in Houston seems to be the de rigeur activity, as Chef Olivier Ciesielski left Tony’s last week to pursue a private venture and CIA-trained, Italian-imported Francesco Casetta took his place. The important thing, though, is that Houston is retaining all of this talent and expanding our culinary footprint. It’s only fitting for the fourth-largest city in America that we start catching up with New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago after all this time.
For more insight into the move, read Misha’s article at Tasty Bits: Plinio Sandalio Now at Gravitas.
UPDATE: Alison Cook at the Houston Chronicle has more news here: Jonathan Jones is the new chef at Beaver’s. The comments section here is quite interesting…and dead-on correct.