The kitchen at Maestro was remarkable for its serenity during dinner time, a result of the headsets the cooks were all made to wear by former executive chef Fabio Trabocchi, who absconded this Fall to run the show at Fiamma, in Manhattan. It sometimes made the pass look a little like a Time-Life Books operation.
But now serenity is about to find its opposite — in theory, if not in practice.
According to a well-placed source, Gordon Ramsay appears all but certain to take over the kitchen at Maestro, ending months of speculation about what restaurateur and/or chef was going to assume control of one of the region's best restaurants. The negotiation at this point is simply over money. Another source had told me, weeks ago, that the Ritz-Carlton was divided over who should command the kitchen; one faction was pushing hard for Roberto Donna, the other wanted someone outside the city, someone who could come in and make a splash.
Don't expect hurling imprecations, throwing plates and other made-for-TV theatrics. Ramsay himself won't be coming, although he will have total control. A hand-picked protege (a woman, according to the well-placed source) will lead the revamped Maestro.
Read on for Todd's Tuesday online chat.