rumination 9: chef signal…

Chef Signal
Chef Signal

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.”

~ by ulterior epicure on June 3, 2010.

6 Responses to “rumination 9: chef signal…”

  1. Cool! You should now direct your Chef Signal to Cornelius Gallagher. Last known address: Oceana, NYC.

    P.S. I presume Lautrec was the place you were considering trekking to when you came to Philadelphia last year?

  2. @ thewizardofroz: Well, we know where Cornelius Gallagher is: he’s with Bohlsen Restaurant Group in East Islip. CLICK.

  3. @ u.e., Well, that’s news to me.

  4. @ thewizardofroz: Yes, much to my disappointment, Gallagher went “under” into the private sector after Oceana. (See my reference to this in my recent review of Cafe Boulud.)

  5. Oh Im around. a little here and a little there, but mostly on my couch. As you saw Im working on finding the means to open my own piece of heaven. Things are looking good and I hope Ill be in business before we say goodbye to this years tomato crop. Ill keep you posted.

  6. @ Dave: It’s so good of you to drop by. Best of luck to you! Do keep me posted. Pittsburgh is a LOT easier for me to get to than Nemacolin! :)

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