Today’s Food Newsbits: Ramsay’s Melbourne Maze Thrives; Moonen, Burke, and Morimoto Procure New Projects
The latest issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller features a review on chef Gordon Ramsay’s first Australian location, which is surprisingly two restaurant concepts in one spot. With a development price tag of nearly $300 million, Ramsay’s maze and maze grill opened in Melbourne in mid-April to mixed reviews.
According to the GT article, maze, the more formal of the two dining rooms, delivers dishes that are “all about exact cooking, clean flavours and precise presentation”, with Australian favorites making their way to the menu.
The Aussie flag is raised over dessert with a clever take on the lamington, a puffy explosion of coconut-dusted sponge that’s teamed with chocolate ganache, cream coconut sorbet and a brilliant, slightly acidic jam made from rosella, the Australian native fruit.
Maze Grill, in contrast, has “its feet firmly planted in New York steakhouse territory,” with beef and fish making up most of the menu. It seems the dual-personality eatery was the right move for Ramsay after the last few years of rocky waters, both personally and professionally. The review also notes that both restaurants are surprisingly affordable. You can read the rest of the feature at the Gourmet Traveller website.
The June issue also has a great article on chef David Chang’s recent visit to Australia.
As I mentioned in a recent Side Dish, evolution is the key to remaining relevant, and profitable, for both restaurants and chefs. Todd English’s Food Hall concept at New York’s Plaza Hotel opened this month, and according to Nation’s Restaurant News, other prominent chefs are developing new projects as well.
Las Vegas’s Rick Moonen recently signed on to develop the menu for the new Las Vegas Railway Express connecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The chef, who currently appears on this season’s Top Chef Masters competition, will oversee food and beverage operations for the train service, which debuts in 2011.
New York chefs Masaharu Morimoto and David Burke have also committed to new developments as well. Morimoto has joined the city’s Classic Harbor Line for the second year in a row to develop dishes as part of the operation’s “Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sunset Cruises”. Burke has signed on as culinary director for the upcoming Bowlmor Lanes Times Square expected to open in midtown Manhattan this fall.
Other chefs making moves: Seattle chef Ethan Stowell, who closed his Union location last month, will be opening a new restaurant this summer named Staple and Fancy Mercantile. Seattle Metropolitan’s Jessica Voelker took a walk through the new restaurant space recently with Chef Stowell.
It was also announced that Chicago chef Rick Tramonto will be leaving his restaurant, Tru, as well as the parent company, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, to pursue new endeavors. Executive chef Anthony Martin will man the restaurant’s helm upon Tramonto’s departure.
Stay tuned to Daily Blender next week for my exclusive interview with Chef Tom Colicchio. I’ll also be featuring coverage of the Aspen Food & Wine Classic in two weeks, where I’ll have a chance to chat with chef Masaharu Morimoto as well as 2010 James Beard Foundation award nominee chef Ryan Hardy.
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