Every so often, a chef goes off the grid, underground, M.I.A. Not even the fairly trusty chefdb knows their whereabouts.
Batman has his Bat Signal, so I’m pulling out my Chef Signal.
Where is Dave Racicot?
In 2006, I had the immense pleasure of having two meals, back-to-back, at Aqueous at the Nemacolin Woods Resort, where Racicot was then chef de cuisine. Racicot created two tasting menus for my guest and me, the first night, 12 courses, the second night, 11 courses. Some of the dishes, like an ajo blanco with chicken, anchovies, and grapes, were truly stunning.
Racicot and I kept loosely in touch over the subsequent years, emailing each other every so often. I know that in 2007, he was promoted to the chef de cuisine position at Lautrec, the resort’s centerpiece, which earned both a Forbes five star rating and AAA five diamond rating under Racicot’s stewardship. And I was glad to see him pop up on the James Beard Awards semifinalist list in the Rising Star category in 2009.
Sadly, I never ate at Lautrec while Racicot was there. And now, it seems I never will. A recent email addressed to him was kicked back to me; the account had been closed. A quick search on chefdb suggests that he left Lautrec sometime this year (2010), his position now filled by Kristin Butterworth,
Dave, are you out there? Does anyone know where he is? I hope that this silence means that good things are in the works.
Updated on June 4, 2010: An email from a reader (thank you) confirmed my suspicions that Dave Racicot is working on opening his own restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can read about it on his blog, “Invest in Racicot.”