Phillip Lopez, the former executive chef and owner of the now-shuttered, modernist tasting menu restaurant Square Root, just took the executive chef gig at a restaurant with much deeper roots — Galatoire’s. Ian McNulty reports that Phillip Lopez officially takes the reins at the more-than-a century-old restaurant, as well as its more casual spin-off, Galatoire’s 33 Steak, on September 3.
Though seemingly a surprising partnership for traditional Galatoire’s and molecular gastronomy expert Lopez, the innovative chef and New Orleans native told McNulty that his cooking always begins with respect for New Orleans cuisine — and pushes it forward.
Take, for example, the muffuletta he served at Square Root, which the Wall Street Journal chose as one of the best muffulettas in the Crescent City. His “silver dollar” sized version substituted sesame-seed flavored meringue for the typical sesame-seed topped Italian bread (the name of the sandwich actually comes from the bread, which happens to be as big as a plate).
He recognizes that this new move is a departure from what he’s known for, but he considers it a privilege to be a “steward” of New Orleans cuisine. Plus, he’s adept at classic French technique, according to the report.
Michael Sichel held Galatoire’s executive chef post for seven years before leaving to cook at a hotel with an all-pink “ladies bar” in Charleston. Before that, Brian Landry ran the kitchen, eventually leaving to open Borgne with John Besh.
Lopez’s restaurant group, Rebel Restaurant Group, once had several restaurants under its roof. He sold deli Part and Parcel to longtime employees who now operate it under the name Aglio. Root and Square Root closed permanently on New Year’s Eve. And the conservative hotel bistro Petite Lion closed a month before that.
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- Phillip Lopez, Known for Avant-Garde Cuisine, is the New Chef at Historic Galatoire’s [ADVOCATE]
- The 25 Classic Restaurants Every New Orleanian Must Try [ENOLA]
- Phillip Lopez’s Root and Square Root Closed Permanently on New Year’s Eve [ENOLA]
- Jayne Restaurant Takes Over Phillip Lopez’s Petit Lion [ENOLA]
- Aglio Replaces Philip Lopez’s Part & Parcel Tomorrow [ENOLA]
- Chef Michael Sichel Leaves Galatoire’s For a Hotel With an All-Pink ‘Ladies Bar’ [ENOLA]
- All Square Root Coverage [ENOLA]
- All Galatiore’s Coverage [ENOLA]
- The 38 Essential New Orleans Restaurants, Summer 2018 [ENOLA]
- The 5 Best Muffuletta Sandwiches in New Orleans [WSJ]