Rue Cler and Provenance have new chefs, and Ashley Christensen has hired a new beverage director for her restaurants who has been recognized nationally as a beverage professional on the rise.
Rue Cler: The French restaurant in Durham, which opened in 2006, has hired Todd Whitney as executive chef. Whitney is the former chef of acclaimed restaurants Vin Rouge in Durham and J. Betski’s in Raleigh.
In a news release, Rue Cler partner and wine director Nathan Vandergrift said he and partner Wes Rountree have focused on elevating the restaurant’s wine program since they took over the restaurant in 2013. The result was the restaurant’s first Wine Spectator award.
“Bringing on Todd will do for the food what we did for the wine – bring it on par with anything around,” Vandergrift said in the release last month. ‘“Rue Cler is a thriving business, and we really think Todd can take us to where we want this restaurant to be.”
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Whitney, who attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ore., has worked in restaurants in San Diego, Portland and Atlanta. In the Triangle, he worked at Bistro 607 in Raleigh and became executive chef at J. Betski’s in 2006. In 2011, he became executive chef of Vin Rouge and opened Oval Park Grille in 2014.
Provenance: The downtown Raleigh restaurant, which specializes in locally sourced ingredients, has installed a new leadership team. James Miraglia, who has been chef de cuisine since November, replaces Executive Chef Teddy Klopf. Klopf, who launched the East Martin Street restaurant on the first floor of the SkyHouse apartments in February 2016, is “moving on to new ventures in the food industry,” said Christopher McCrudden, managing agent of the the Provenance Group, in a news release.
Stephanie Dasnoit has been named general manager.
Miraglia first joined the restaurant in March 2016 as a sous chef, shortly after it opened. In an email, he said, “The menu will continue to evolve on a daily and seasonal basis as we work together with our local farmers, ranchers and fishermen. The Provenance team is striving to continuously pursue the incorporation of both current trends and past traditions.”
Miraglia has studied under a French Master Chef and was mentored by Chef Sunny Gerhart of the new St. Roch.
In addition to a regularly changing menu, which will be posted on the restaurant’s website, there is a guest tasting menu that can be customized for dietary restrictions. Reservations for the tasting menu should be made at least 24 hours in advance; the entire table is asked to participate. Call 984-269-5211.
AC Restaurants: Chef Ashley Christensen has hired a new beverage director to oversee the wine programs, cocktails and beverage education for her restaurants, which include Poole’s Diner, Death & Taxes, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar and the Bridge Club event space.
Cappie Peete comes to Raleigh from Charleston, S.C., where she rose through the restaurant ranks from server assistant to become the beverage director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group – five restaurants throughout the Southeast under acclaimed executive chef Sean Brock.
The Greensboro native was the youngest Advanced Sommelier in Charleston and will be sitting for her master’s level in July. When she was 28, she was named a Young Gun for the Eater website in 2015, a list of 17 of the “most promising hospitality industry stars” across the country. FSR magazine, a trade publication for chefs and owners in the restaurant industry, named her one of 40 Food and Beverage Professionals on the Rise the following year.