Saturday, August 22, 2009

Keith McNally Lands A Name Chef For His Pizzeria, Who Will Stephen Starr Go With At Stella?

pizza at motorino in new york city
Who will be in charge of the ovens and the dough at Stella Pizza? | Photo via The New York Times

Famed New York restaurateur Keith McNally just tapped Rising Star Chef Nate Appleman to helm the kitchen at the pizzeria McNally is opening on the Bowery in lower Manhattan this December called Pulino Bar and Pizzeria.

It's a big signing. Nate Appleman won the James Beard Rising Star Chef Award this year. And he was named to Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2009. It will be Appleman's first job in New York, having just left San Francisco.

And for McNally, he's landed a fresh marquee name that will add even more buzz to the Pulino project's debut.

Meanwhile, we have not heard anything about who might run the kitchen at Stephen Starr's upcoming pizza project, Stella Pizza.

But we can guess that it will not be a big name.

Starr no longer seems to be a fan of recruiting big names (from New York or otherwise) to add cachet to a restaurant project. He tried it years ago with Marcus Samuelson at Washington Square and it did not work out. (Samuelson left long before Washington Square's eventual closing.)

Ever since that experience, it seems that Starr would prefer to find chefs from within his system and give them an opportunity to be head chef at the new place.

Which is probably smart.

And given that they're already hiring all of the front-of-house positions, Starr probably already has himself a chef.

But who?

Related:
McNally Teams With Appleman for Bowery Pizzeria Pulino's
[ Grub Street New York ]

Previously:
Stephen Starr's Lombard Street Pizzeria To Be Named 'Stella Pizza'

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