Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eat at Napa while the eatin's good

From "Friends and Admirers of Chef Bill Taibe" on Facebook:

"Bill Taibe, Executive chef at acclaimed Napa and Co., has decided, after 3 exciting years, to move on. Bill will be opening a new farmhouse style restaurant concept in Westport, Ct.. This will allow Bill to be closer to home(he lives in Weston), to spend more time with his young family. Bill is excited to get back to his roots, which is being more hands on in the kitchen and using only the freshest LOCAL ingredients. We are excited for Bills new endeavor and look forward to keeping you updated on the opening date which is set to be in September."

Bill Taibe is leaving Napa. EVERYBODY PANIC.

19 comments:

Whitemist said...

Do not tell me we look for a Napa closure because of this!

kbfood said...

Does anyone know where the location of the new restaurant is? I know in Westport...but where? And no, Napa is not closing...they have a new chef coming in.

Scott said...

Not just any chef, an excellent chef.

Streets of Stamford said...

Do you know something we don't, Scott? Hmm...?

Anonymous said...

Gordon Ramsey?

kbfood said...

According to the Lunch Break blog the new chef is:

Arik Bensimon. Arik is a culinary graduate from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park. He has the famed restaurants, Le Cirque and Picholine in NYC and La Panetiere in Rye, under his belt.

Streets of Stamford said...

If he's from the CIA, we'd better be watch what we say about his food...he might be listening!

anon said...

No need to panic folks. The food at Napa will not suffer, look at what is happening at Harvest Supper where the new chef used to work for Taibe at Napa. That place is doing really well, and I'd expect Napa to thrive as well. Plus, the owners are no dummies, they were really successful when they ran Telluride, and I don't see any reason why they can't continue their success at Napa.

Napa & Co...food and winemade simple said...

Wow--what controversy over nothing. I appreciate the interest bloggers have in food and the dining scene but you don't understand this business as I don't understand yours. Chefs conming and going is not anything new to this industry. They are employees like bartenders or waiters. A concept is developed by the owners. The marketing and promotion is developed by the owners. At least this was the case for Napa. For the title of this blog to be called "East at Napa while the eating's good" is not only insenstive but silly. Arik Bensimon has been cooking at Napa for close to year which allows for a smotth transition but the change allows for fresh inspiration. A restaurant needs to continue to evolve or it gets stale. A restaurant is made up of a team of talent not one single force. We've had several employees over the years go and open their own restaurants and we continued to thrive. It's silly to think otherwise. We are happy to see people go after their dreams. At the end of the day, if you loved Napa for the food, wine and service you can expect not only the same to continue but hopefully better! Cheers...Mary & Charlie

Napa & Co...food and winemade simple said...

Sorry for the typos...big flaw of mine and my keyboard is sticky from the kids!

Streets of Stamford said...

Wow, I didn't realize what an uproar this would cause!

Mary & Charlie: I loooove Napa and would never post anything to knock you guys...unless you deserved it! :P

If you read my other posts, you'll find that my sense of humor is rather wry (perhaps too wry), and I was making light of the fact that I'm sure we have nothing to worry about. The people will continue to flock to Napa for the cheese, wine and cuisine we all know and love.

That said, Bill's shoes and chef hat will be hard ones to fill, but if anybody can find a proper replacement, the Napa folks can.

Anonymous said...

Just now catching up on the posts regarding Bill Taibe leaving Napa. I briefly worked at Napa and find Mary & Charlie's post hard to stomach. Chef's are employees likened to a waiter or bartender??? That post has an underlying sense of insecurity bordering on ridiculous. While the concept may have been developed by the owners, the menu was clearly developed and executed by the chef. Given CHEF TAIBE's accolades in the press and appearance on Martha Stewart I can certainly understand the panic. Good luck to him, am sure his new place will be a huge success.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say but Chef's are what makes the resturant and Bill Taibe made Napa&Co quite a restaurant. I think it will be very hard to fill his shoes. Good luck to Bill Taibe, I know LeFarm will be a great sucess. Please let us know all the details ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Cheers to Mary and Charlie Schaffer for clearly saying what no one else has the guts to say! Executive chefs in upscale, high-end restaurants are nothing more than glorified dishwashers. And that's the truth (Go Mary!). It's almost as if, given the opportunity, the parking attendant in the Marriott garage could cook the food at Napa but the chef couldn't park a car to save his own life. Here is my suggestion: forget burger and wine night; let's do "changing restaurant roles" on Saturday nights at Napa!
Since everyone is on a level playing field (I totally agree with you!), we'll have the dishwashers design the menu, the waiters prep all the food, and Charlie run the entire kitchen (kitchens, as we both know, are complete and utter jokes to run, so shouldn't be difficult). The bartender can stay where he is, I hear he's pretty good. What do you say, this Sat night?

Charlie said...

Okay, Anonymous No. 1 (and you call us insecure?) you’re reading too much into Mary’s post. We love Bill’s food. That’s why we pursued him and gave him the platform. He is a talented chef and has the personality and presence to go far. We wish him only the best and will continue to support him if only as customers. To read panic over his move into Mary’s post, however, is off the mark. She is merely stating a fact of life in this business. Talent comes and goes but instead of looking at his leaving as a negative we look forward to the positive aspects of showcasing a new talent. Arik, who Bill hired, whose food we also love and who was Bill’s personal recommendation as replacement is also an extremely talented, creative chef and we look forward to his take on the menu and exposing his food to our customer base, which I assume will welcome him and the experience. Great food is great food. And to the most recent Anonymous, let's not go nuts. I couldn't run the kitchen if my life depended on it.

By the way, don't miss Oysters & Albarino tonight!

Napa & Co...food and winemade simple said...

You know this anonymous blogging is transparent. I never said that Chef's are like dishwashers or parking valets. I said, "they are employees" as they are. Plain and simple a restaurant does not hang in the balance simply by its food or by one person. There are many great restaurants out there where a) the chef doesn't cook ala Thomas Keller or b) they change chef's frequently ala Jean Georges. Now Napa & co. is not in the pedigree of these great restaurants but we are a small family owned restaurant running a business we know quite well and have a great track record all on our own. I only voice this because I think it's disrespectful to the Chef that is there now and the 32 employees that give everything to Napa and it supports their families in these economic times to. There are many criteria for any restaurant to achieve. We had a great relationship with Bill for three years and worked hard to promote him. We will do the same with Arik Bensimon, who is also quite talented. There's way too much drama going on here for nothing. If there's ex employees posting anonymous things on here doesn't that tell you someting. Restaurants and Napa have high standards for the staff and not everyone cuts it.

grapesofwrath said...

Last post was not meant to be "anonymous"

grapesofwrath said...

Makes sense. I still love Napa, Arik is honestly a superbly talented chef, and I think all of us will continue to support the family at Napa! On a side note, why isn't Charlie's bio on the website? He seems to be the driving force, the real genius, behind the restaurant?

Anonymous said...

I am sure Napa will continue to flourish if Arik was recommended by Chef Taibe. Trying to figure out though why Mary and Charlie are paying any attention at all to these posts. Don't they have better things to do with their time and energy??