After four years at the helm, chef Louis Maldonado has not only left behind his post as executive chef of Spoonbar, but the position of chef altogether. Maldonado will now take on the role of culinary director at Mugniani Imports in Healdsburg, a woodfired pizza oven company, where he will lead training, teach classes and even write a book. The chef, who has also worked in the kitchens of Aziza and the French Laundry (and appeared on Bravo's reality show Top Chef), cited spending time with his young son as the impetus for the shift.
Now, the restaurant is bringing on two chefs to take his place: co-executive chefs and married couple Patrick and Casey Van Voorhis. The duo, who met as students at the Culinary Institute of America, have spent quality time in the kitchens of Aquarello (where Patrick was the executive sous chef) and Jane Bakery (where Casey focused on bread). According to a press release, both have worked at Cotogna as well, which will contribute largely to the upcoming menu revamp at Spoonbar. In keeping with Spoonbar's them of comfort food, the chefs plan to offer rustic dishes with an Italian leaning: Upcoming items will include a rye gnocchi with caramelized cabbage and pumpkin seeds, and roasted carrots with prosciutto, toasted walnuts and brown butter egg yolk. They'll be rolling out a new menu in the coming months, so stay tuned.