Mouthful

New chefs at St. Jacques, Bar Virgile

jleonard@newsobserver.com

There’s been some movement in the chef community.

▪ Chef Serge Falcoz-vigne, most recently executive chef at Raleigh’s 18 Seaboard, has taken over as head chef and general manager of St. Jacques, a longtime French outpost in North Raleigh.

Falcoz-vigne, 47, came to Raleigh from Paris seven years ago. (His wife is from Raleigh and the couple met at his Paris restaurant.) He previously worked at 411 West in Chapel Hill for three years and the now-closed 518 West in Raleigh for another three years.

Jason Smith, owner of 18 Restaurant Group, which owns 18 Seaboard, Cantina 18 and Harvest 18, was sorry to see him go. “I was so happy for his opportunity but I was equally sad to see him go,” Smith said.

Falcoz-vigne said it is better that he didn’t come to the United States and immediately start working at a French restaurant. His years working at these restaurants helped him better understand what Triangle diners want. He also said it has been a joy to become part of the Triangle’s chef community, including cooking at ChickenWireNC events.

“It’s a pleasure to be a part of this community,” Falcoz-vigne said.

St. Jacques is at 6112 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, 919-862-2770, saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com

▪ (I am very late to this news. Apparently, I need to get out more.) Hich Elbetri, former co-owner of Sandwich in Chapel Hill, has been the executive chef at Bar Virgile in Durham since late November. You may have noticed some of Elbetri’s influences on the menu, such as tandoori chicken and lamb tagine.

Bar Virgile is a downtown Durham restaurant that is a partnership between Nana’s chef/owner Scott Howell and bar manager Daniel Sartain. (Greg Cox, the N&O’s longtime restaurant critic, gave Bar Virgile a four-star review last summer under the previous chef, Carrie Schleiffer, who has moved on to help Alley Twenty Six and others.)

Elbetri said Bar Virgile has been a good fit after running Sandwich since the casual Chapel Hill restaurant opened in May 2005. (Elbetri’s ex-wife, Janet, now solely owns Sandwich.) “I work for Scott but it feels like my restaurant,” Elbetri said.

Bar Virgile is at 105 S. Mangum St., Durham; 919-973-3000; barvirgile.com

Weigl: 919-829-4848;

Twitter: @andreaweigl

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