Eric Justice, Nicholas Batey, Jennifer Backman, Chad Greer, Tammy Ogletree, Peter Smith, Gerald Infantino, John Cox, Steve Cruz, Tony Flier
Eric Justice, former vice president of culinary operations for the casual-dining chain P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and its sister fast-casual chain Pei Wei Asian Diner, has joined consulting company Culinary Concepts Group as vice president of culinary services.
CCG said Justice would work with founding partners Ethan Royce and Shawn Davidson “to create and launch innovative new food concepts for leading national brands,” including Panera Bread, Dunkin’ Donuts and Pei Wei.
Justice also has worked with T.G.I. Friday’s parent Carlson Restaurants World Wide, Houston-based Pappas Restaurant Group, and Rare Hospitality, which was parent to the Longhorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille chains before it was bought by Darden Restaurants.
Nicholas Batey is the new executiveof the Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, N.Y. Most recently executive chef of the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in Rockville, Md., Batey is now serving dishes such as tuna tartare with cucumber, ginger, coriander, sesame, lime, chives and gaufrette potatoes, and figs stuffed with Boursin cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.
Jennifer Backman has been named executive chef at the Weekapaug Inn, in Weekapaug, R.I., which is slated to reopen in October. Previously executive sous chef at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, R.I., this native of Washington State studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I., and is well acquainted with local fare, which she is using in dishes such as roasted tautog — a local fish — with Jonah crab salad, asparagus, fennel and smoked tomato vinaigrette.
Chad Greer is executive chef at Henry’s at the Farm in Milton, N.Y., and his wife Tammy Ogletree is pastry chef. The two were the former chef-owner and pastry chef-owner of Beso in nearby New Paltz, N.Y. Greer said he prepares food with strong, distinctive flavor and textures. That includes chilled spring pea soup and crab with local peas, Dungeness crab salad and pea shoots; crispy baby calamari with roasted chipotle ragout, cilantro and lime; and fettuccine with prawns, local corn and tomato cream sauce.
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Peter Smith is executive chef at Bean & Bottle at the Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa in Sonoma, Calif. Most recently the executive chef of the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas, Smith is originally from the Australian state of Queensland, but got his culinary degree in Sydney, Australia, at Windermere Culinary College.
Gerald Infantino is now executive chef of the Baltimore Convention Center, which is operated by Centerplate. He’s working on creating new standard and specialized menus for the venue. Since May 2009 he had been hub executive chef for Centerplate, with responsibility for culinary oversight at seven venues in that area, including the Indiana State Museum, NCAA headquarters and the Klipsch Music Center VIP Club.
John Cox is executive chef of Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, Calif. A native of northern New Mexico, but a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt., Cox most recently was in Carmel, Calif., as executive chef of Casanova and La Bicyclette.
Steve Cruz, who has spent the past five years working in catering and as a private chef, is now executive chef at The Orchard House in New York City, where he is making items such as lamb sliders with tomato jam, avocado, basil and scallion mayonnaise, and mac and cheese pancakes with Vermont maple syrup.
Tony Flier is the new executive chef of The Golden Bear Restaurant Group, Based in San Francisco, which operates MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina and Pete’s Tavern. Previously a culinary consultant for Pucci Foods in Haward, Calif., Flier, a native of San Mateo, Calif., started working in restaurants at age 15, doing stages in Europe before returning to the San Francisco Bay area, where he helped open landmarks such as Nola, Kingfish and Fish market.