Yuhi Fujinaga Peter Czizek has been named vice president of culinary menu strategy at Applebee’s. He reports to Becky Johnson, senior vice president for marketing and culinary. Most recently, Czizek was vice president of food and beverage research and development for Dave and Buster’s. Previously, he was culinary and beverage director of Romano’s Macaroni Grill and executive chef of Mel Hollen Restaurant Concepts, both in Dallas.

Nicole Plue is the founding director of pastry arts at the San Francisco Cooking School, where she will teach the professional pastry certification program. Plue won the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for outstanding pastry chef when she was at Redd in Yountville, Calif.


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Yuhi Fujinaga is the new executive chef of The Sea Grill in New York City. Most recently chef de cuisine of Bar Basque, also in New York City, Fujinaga, who was born in Japan and raised in Hawaii, is making dishes such as yellow fin tuna à la Niçoise; plancha-grilled opakapaka with creamy lobster emulsion and purée of edamame, English pea and rosemary; and almond-crusted rainbow trout with shallot beurre blanc, trout caviar and sorrel.

Myles McVayThomas Dunklin, former executive chef of B&O American Brasserie in Baltimore, has moved to Portland, Ore., where he is executive chef of Three Degrees. The New Orleans native is cooking dishes such as ginger barbecue shrimp with lemon grass and Worcestershire sauce; hamachi with citrus-soy, bird chile, crispy ginger and green onion; and lamb riblets with cumin, chile caramel and asparagus.

Keoko Turner is the new chef at Bantam + Biddy, Shaun Doty’s fast-casual “better chicken” concept in Atlanta. The Culinary Institute of America graduate most recently was sous chef of Bistro Niko in Atlanta.

Jenna CrileMyles McVay is the new executive chef of Toast in Birmingham, Mich., where this summer he’s cooking hake with tomatillo sweet potato hash and a daily changing dish of mushrooms on toast, among other things. For the past five years he was executive chef of D’Amato’s in Royal Oak, Mich.

Jenna Crile is the new pastry chef of Sprout and Frog N Snail, both located in Chicago. Most recently a pastry assistant at Baume & Brix, also in Chicago, Crile is making an avocado bombe with cherry purée, radishes, freeze-dried sweet corn and black sesame at Sprout. At Frog N Snail her current favorite is a chocolate cake with peanut butter marshmallow fluff, spiced peanuts, chocolate-and-pretzel crème anglaise, pretzels and chocolate ice cream.

Lou CruzLou Cruz is the new executive chef of 10 Prime Steak & Sushi in Providence, R.I., where he is making dishes such as Samurai’s Grilled Sushi Sandwich with tuna, salmon, lobster, kabayaki sauce and togarashi; and the Crunchy Munchie Sushi Roll, with fried coconut shrimp, tempura crab and honey truffle aïoli. Most recently, Cruz was chef de cuisine of CAV, also in Providence.

John Lawrence, Antonio Cardoso, more

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Antonio CardosoJohn Lawrence is the new chef de cuisine of Kimball’s Kitchen at the Sanderling Resort in Duck, N.C. Most recently chef de cuisine of Tides Inn in Chesapeake, Va., Lawrence is cooking items such as smoked trout fritters with paprika aïoli and crispy pork belly steamed buns with chow chow and Sriracha barbecue sauce.

Antonio Cardoso is the new executive chef of the Conrad New York in New York City, overseeing daily operations of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Atrio, its rooftop bar Loopy Doopy and all in-room dining. He also is managing the rooftop garden. Cardoso most recently was executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton Abaco Club at Winding Bay in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas.

Daniel FureyDaniel Furey is the new executive chef of Cannery Row Brewing Company in Monterey, Calif. Most recently the executive chef of R2L in Philadelphia, Furey is now making beer-friendly dishes such as crab cake with Southeast Asian aromatics and Korean chile-spiked tartar sauce, and a wood-grilled, marinated Portobello mushroom burger with herbed goat cheese, tempura tomato, and an arugula and pickled red onion salad on a brioche bun.

Dario Correa is the new executive chef at The Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove, Fla., overseeing all culinary functions, including the Italian restaurant Spartico and the Above the Mayfair rooftop. Originally from Buenos Aires, Correa most recently was executive chef of the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla.

Stacy CogswellStacy Cogswell is the new chef at The Regal Beagle in Brookline, Mass. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., Cogswell has traveled to Singapore and the Caribbean, as well as the Eastern Seaboard, but her work experience has been mostly in the Boston area, where she was a sous chef at Market in Boston and chef de cuisine at Upstairs on the Square in Cambridge, Mass.

J. Christopher Windus, former executive chef of Todd English’s Bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Winter Park, Fla., has been named executive chef of Hamilton’s Kitchen at The Alfond Inn, also in Winter Park. Windus studied hospitality management at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and earned an associate degree in culinary arts from the Capital Culinary Institute in Tallahassee, Fla.

J. Christopher WindusJames Boukhalfa is the new executive chef of Seminole Casino Immokalee in Immokalee, Fla. Originally from Paris, Boukhalfa has put down roots in Florida, where he most recently was executive chef of the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North.

Jesse Olsen has returned to his home state of Washington, where he is the new executive chef at The Golf Club at Newcastle in Newcastle, Wash., including the property’s Calcutta Grill. Most recently he was executive chef at the Four Seasons Alexandria at San Stefano, in Egypt.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary