Chefs on the Move

Do the chef shuffle: Here are comings and goings at 8 Houston restaurants

Chef shuffle: Here are the comings and goings at 8 Houston restaurants

Executive Chef Maurizio Ferrarese
Maurizio Ferrarese has left Quattro at The Four Seasons Hotel Houston. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Dalia Zelko Jamie Zelko The Ivy & James
Dalia Zelko, left, remains as a co-owner of The Ivy & James. but chef Jamie Zelko has left the restaurant. Courtesy of The Ivy & James
Gary Ly Underbelly
Gary Ly has departed Underbelly. Photo by Julie Soefer
News, Cheers 4 Charity, Nov. 2015, Mark Cox
Find chef Mark Cox at Fratelli's in Spring Branch. Photo by Anthony Hynes
News, Truffle Chef Challenge, La Table chef Hassan Obaye
Hassan Obaye, center, now works at Le Colonial. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Executive Chef Maurizio Ferrarese
Dalia Zelko Jamie Zelko The Ivy & James
Gary Ly Underbelly
News, Cheers 4 Charity, Nov. 2015, Mark Cox
News, Truffle Chef Challenge, La Table chef Hassan Obaye

The world of Houston restaurants moves pretty fast. Those who don’t stop and look around once in awhile might miss some of the changes taking place.

In that spirit of that lightly modified thought from Ferris Bueller, here’s a quick round-up of chef moves that have taken place over the last few months.

After seven years at the Four Seasons hotel, Maurizio Ferrarese left his role as the executive chef at Quattro in October. At this month’s risotto festival, the chef told CultureMap that he’s putting together a business plan and contemplating his next move. The hotel has not yet determined his replacement.

Gary Ly, who earned a CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Rising Star Chef of the Year nomination for his work as Underbelly’s chef de cuisine, left the acclaimed restaurant in early November. A representative tells CultureMap that chef-owner Chris Shepherd will be working alongside sous chef Greg Peters until he decides on Ly’s replacement.

Bramwell Tripp has left his position as executive chef and co-pitmaster at The Pit Room to move to Austin, the restaurant announced on Facebook. During his tenure, the Montrose barbecue joint earned CultureMap's best new restaurant of 2016 and a coveted spot on Texas Monthly's list of the state's 50 best barbecue joints. Owner and general manger Michael Sambrooks remains in place.

Hassan Obaye has taken the executive chef role at Le Colonial in River Oaks District. Obaye comes to the upscale Vietnamese restaurant after a stint at La Table. According to the restaurant, Obaye’s and culinary director Nicole Routhier’s new menu rolls out December 1. Check out this sneak peek of these new menu's Vietnamese spiced lamb chops courtesy of local food writer Mai Pham.

Up-and-coming chef Kenneth Hamilton is the new chef de cuisine at Harold’s in the Heights, the restaurant announced. Hamilton, whose resume includes time at Helen in the Heights and Reef, will work with executive chef Antoine Ware to create Harold’s seasonal, Southern-inspired cuisine.

Veteran Houston chef Mark Cox can now be found at Fratelli’s in Spring Branch, the restaurant announced in October. Cox is working with executive chef Alejandro Rodriguez on the Italian-inspired menu that includes classics like spaghetti carbonara and veal marsala. While Cox’s dishes at his legendary restaurant Mark’s American Cuisine were priced in the special occasion category, most of the entrees at Fratelli’s cost less than $30.

Ben McPherson and Krisp Bird & Batter have parted ways. The fast casual fried chicken sandwich concept recently opened its second location in the Heights. McPherson tells CultureMap that he's "super excited" about his next project but isn't ready to reveal the details yet. 

Jaime Zelko has departed from The Ivy & James at Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire. The restaurant’s website lists John Kim as its head chef and kitchen manager. Zelko’s longtime partner Dalia Zelko remains a co-owner of the restaurant with business partner Edgardo de la Garza.

Know another chef who recently left a job or started a new one? Let us know in the comments.