Now that Betelnut has changed back from its brief stint as Hutong, it's bringing on a new chef de cuisine: Mario Tolentino, the Chopped winner who's been doing pop-ups in town of late. Alexander Ong will remain the executive chef, but Tolentino will help him modernize the joint a little without setting off the kind of culinary and decorative alarm bells that caused Bauer and other Cow Hollow loyalists to panic. "It is Betelnut 2.0, in my opinion," Tolentino told Examiner.com. "We're going to keep the classics people know and love, and also build upon that and modernize a lot of other aspects of the menu and target a younger demographic."
Tolentino, who spent a few months traveling around Southeast Asia and cooked his takes on Asian cuisine at his sold-out Point of View pop-up, started at the new job on Monday. His resume also includes stints at Aqua, a series of projects with Laurent Manrique, and Laurent Tourondel's BLT Steak in Miami.
· Betelnut welcomes new chef de cuisine [Examiner.com]
· Chopped Winner Mario Tolentino Launching Mission Pop-Up [~ ESF ~]
· Hutong Turning Back Into Betelnut [~ ESF ~]