- Bucco goes to the Channel Membership Marina in Monmouth Seashore
- Flavia Amaral of Let’s Meat Steakhouse in River Vale will take over at Felina
- Changing Amaral at Let’s Meat will likely be Carlos Valdez, the previous culinary director of Rumba Cubana
Acclaimed four-star chef Anthony Bucco is leaving Felina, the award-winning up to date Italian restaurant in Ridgewood he launched in 2019 as a companion of Landmark Hospitality. His final day is Oct. 10.
“It is bittersweet,” he mentioned. “The final two years have been disturbing. I am exhausted.I wanted to maneuver in one other route.”
His subsequent transfer: culinary director of the Channel Membership Marina in Monmouth Seashore, overseeing three eating places together with Seashore Tavern and Abbiocco. The marina is 10 minutes from his home in Matawan. “This isn’t an attractive story,” he mentioned. “There is no contentious parting. This was a private choice to be nearer to dwelling. It is essential to me.”
Flavia Amaral, government chef of Let’s Meat Steakhouse in River Vale, is the brand new government chef of Felina.
“I am very, very completely satisfied,” mentioned Amaral, a Hillsdale resident, who plans to maneuver to Jersey Metropolis quickly (“It is extra my model,” she mentioned). “It is a large job.”
Amaral mentioned she plans to vary the menu subsequent week and supply “extra family-oriented, extra rustic dishes, I am not a fine-dining individual.” However, Amaral has labored at among the nation’s most touted fine-dine eating places together with Restaurant Daniel, Le Bernardin and Alain Ducasse’s Passion, all in Manhattan. “I”m not frou-frou-frou,” she added.
Amaral, who was born in Brazil and lived in Spain (she speaks Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and English), mentioned “there isn’t any cash in fine-dining.” She added that she will likely be serving her signature fried cauliflower dish with honey mustard sauce and dried Turkish apricots. “I am taking it with me,” she mentioned with amusing.
Felina, which was closed for a very long time throughout the pandemic solely to open 4 days every week — Thursday via Sunday (it just lately added Wednesday) — has additionally misplaced Chopped champion Martyna Krowicka, who was Bucco’s co-chef. Born in Poland, and an alum of the French Culinary Institute, Krowicka just lately was promoted to government chef by Bucco after serving as Felina’s founding chef de delicacies. She couldn’t be reached for remark.
Bucco is one in every of New Jersey’s most acclaimed cooks. He garnered a four-star overview in New Jersey Month-to-month in 2012 for his cooking on the Ryland Inn when he was its government chef (it was then the first four-star score the journal gave in almost a decade).
Bucco additionally obtained the New York Occasions’ highest score (Glorious), AAA’s coveted 4 Diamond Award, and 4 stars from The Star-Ledger for his work at Stage Left in New Brunswick, Uproot in Warren and the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station.
Bucco is well-known for being a champion of cooks, coaching, selling and supporting them. Amongst them: AJ Capella, who labored at Jockey Hole Bar & Kitchen in Morristown, David Viana of Heirloom Kitchen in Previous Bridge, and Aisling Stevens at Restaurant Latour in Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg. At Felina, he usually invited up-and-coming cooks to cook dinner as a strategy to introduce them to North Jersey’s food-loving group. He’s a member of the board of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Affiliation and was on the advisory of the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce.
Bucco’s title at Landmark Hospitality was Director of Enterprise Improvement. Among the many eating places the corporate owns are The Ryland Inn, Liberty Home in Jersey Metropolis and Stone Home in Warren. It’s scheduled to open various eating places together with Ferry & Foremost in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and Terra e Mare in Jersey Metropolis.
He’d quip that he wore a tough hat greater than a chef’s hat prior to now few years.
As for who has taken over the kitchen at Let’s Meat, now that Amaral has left? The reply is Carlos Valdez, the previous culinary director of Rumba Cubana, a mini-chain of Cuban eating places in North Jersey. He left, he mentioned, “two days earlier than” the its Rochelle Park department opened.
He labored at The Hill in Closter as sous chef — “It wasn’t my cup of tea,” he mentioned — and shortly was recruited to affix Let’s Meat.
A graduate of Johnson & Wales School of Culinary Arts, Valdez headed the kitchens of The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Hackensack and Halcyon in Montclair. In 2015, he was named Final Chef Bergen County. He additionally had his personal restaurant, the Pink Hen Bistro, a French-American café in Wooden-Ridge.
“I am going to most likely change the menu 4 extra instances,” he mentioned. Including, “I am not making an attempt to interrupt the mildew, I would like to have the ability to do good meals, good steaks.”
He additionally desires to supply dishes for many who do not essentially need to have a steak, “reinforcing our seafood” and introducing vegetarian dishes and big-sized Italian dishes together with hen parmigiana and veal Milanese. “I would like the presentation to be large,” he mentioned. “We have already obtained spectacular measurement steaks — 36-ounce T-bone and 48-ounce Tomahawk. I believe this will likely be enjoyable.”
Esther Davidowitz is the meals editor for NorthJersey.com. For extra on the place to dine and drink, please subscribe at the moment and join our North Jersey Eats newsletter.