Benu Hires Former French Laundry Pastry Chef; Parallel 37 Brings in Charlie Trotter's Chef Michael Rotondo

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Benu Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

Over the weekend, the Benu team announced their replacement for outgoing pastry chef Christopher Bleidorn, who we found out last week was becoming chef de cuisine at Atelier Crenn. The new gal in charge of sweet stuff in the kitchen will be Courtney Schmidig, who previously worked with executive chef Corey Lee at The French Laundry, where she remained for eight years. During her time there she also did a couple of stages in Europe, including ones at The Fat Duck in London, and Arzak in Spain.

And the other big chef news today is that The Ritz-Carlton has finally named their replacement for Ron Siegel at Parallel 37: Michael Rotondo. As the Scoop reports, Rotondo is a notable up-and-comer who was most recently executive chef at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, up until it closed in August.

The move suggests that Parallel 37 will become a bit more ambitious in its offerings, while keeping its casual, global/Californian concept intact. Rotondo is already introducing an eight-course tasting menu for $145, and will be unveiling a new à la carte menu in a few weeks.

Michael Rotondo is the new chef at Parallel 37 [Scoop]
Earlier: Newly Installed Michael Mina Chef Ron Siegel Talks Car Brainstorms, and Cooking a Lighter Kind of Fine Dining Fare
Ron Siegel Departing the Ritz, Gets Named Executive Chef at Michael Mina