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Chefs on the move: Hendrix, McEachern, Good, Van Aken, Cole

Several chefs across the country announced new jobs and projects this week.


Perry Hendrix has been appointed executive chef of Custom House in Chicago, replacing Aaron Deal, who took over the restaurant’s kitchen last year.

A report in Chicago Magazine quoted both restaurant co-owner Peter Drohomyrecky and Deal as saying the departure resulted from philosophical differences.

Hendrix currently is executive chef of Brasserie by Niche in St. Louis, and he is scheduled to start at Custom House on Sept. 1. In the meantime, well-respected Chicago chef Eric Aubriot will be running the kitchen.

Aubriot currently owns a wine and cheese shop in the city. Deal, who was executive chef of Tristan in Charleston, S.C., before being recruited by Peter and Sue Kim Drohomyrecky, replaced Shawn McClain, who was a partner with the Drohomyreckys until they parted ways last year.


Brant Good is the new executive chef at The Sardine Factory in Monterey, Calif., a restaurant where he first worked in 1988. For the past 10 years, he has been working at the Capital City Club in Atlanta, where he most recently was executive chef.


Tom McEachern has been promoted to corporate executive chef of Ray’s Restaurants, which operates three units in the Atlanta area — Ray’s on the River, Ray’s in the City and Ray’s Killer Creek.

Previously, McEachern was executive chef of Ray’s on the River, a position he had held since July 2007. Before joining Ray's, he was at The Horseradish Grill in Atlanta.


Chef Norman Van Aken said he will open a new restaurant in Florida, called Norman’s 180, next week at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables.

Van Aken, noted for his fusion of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors at Norman’s Orlando at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, will expand on his “new world cuisine” at the new restaurant. The menu will cover small plates, shareable platters, soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, entrees, sides and desserts, as well as a menu of cheese and charcuterie.

Van Aken’s son, Justin Van Aken, will serve as co-chef with Phillip Bryant, who has worked as sous chef with the elder Van Aken since 2005.

The restaurant, which will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, will feature a theater-style kitchen and lounge areas. It also has outdoor seating along Ponce de Leon Boulevard.


Chef Tyson Cole, owner of the acclaimed Uchi in Austin, Texas, said he plans to expand his business with the opening of Uchiko on July 6 in the central part of the city.

Cole has named Uchi’s former chef de cuisine, Paul Qui, as executive chef of Uchiko. Cole will oversee all the restaurants as chef and owner.

Uchiko's menu will feature familiar categories like hot and cool tastings, grilled items, greens, omakase, sushi and sashimi. The newer Agemono selections on Uchiko’s menu will be lightly fried and feature such items as bacon onigiri and coconut milk crepe.

The new restaurant's design was inspired by the look and feel of a Japanese farmhouse.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] and Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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