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The latest chefs on the move

Ben Hershberger, Dan Vargo, Johnny Earles, Emmanuel Eng, Ivy Hung, Mohan de Silva, Randy Lutz

Ben Hershberger, head baker of Per Se and Bouchon Bakery in New York, has joined a nonprofit training organization called Hot Bread Kitchen as head baker and instructor.

Hershberger is training low-income and foreign-born women to develop their commercial baking skills with the goal of improving their economic security.

The baked goods they make, derived from their ethnic heritage, include Mexican corn tortillas, Moroccan m’smen and Armenian lavash, and are available at local farmers markets and supermarkets. Hot Bread Kitchen’s first retail location is slated to open this July in La Marquetta in the Harlem neighborhood of New York.

Seagar’s Prime Steak and Seafood in Destin, Fla., has hired two new chefs, Dan Vargo and Johnny Earles, who are collaborating to create “Gulf-to-table” dishes such as pumpkin swordfish ceviche and Crabmeat Louisianne with shiitake mushrooms.

Vargo most recently was executive sous chef of the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla. Earles is the former owner of Criolla’s and Paradise Cafe in Grayton Beach, Fla.

Emmanuel Eng has been promoted from chef de cuisine to executive chef of Maverick in San Francisco, four months after he joined the restaurant.

A former protégé of Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in San Francisco, Eng has revamped the restaurant’s menu with items such as roasted porcini mushroom and Tennessee country ham with potato dumplings; pickled cherries and roast pork jus with Dijon mustard; flat iron “carpetbagger steak” with potato shallot cake, creamed spinach, rhubarb steak sauce and oyster-arugula pesto; and lobster bread pudding and smoked cod with mussel chowder, clams, corn and sea bean.

Ivy Hung is the new chef de cuisine at Seven Sisters, a fine-dining restaurant at Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne, Calif.
The former executive chef for Sodexo of City of Hope in Los Angeles, Hung is preparing such dishes as swordfish with Mojito ginger glaze, and tomato bisque with shaved New York Steak.

Mohan de Silva is the new pastry chef at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. De Silva, who most recently was the pastry chef at the Sofitel Philadelphia, is making desserts such as vanilla panna cotta on lemon jaconde in strawberry sparkling wine soup; opera torte with roasted apricots and apricot lavender sauce; and baked Alaska with pink peppercorn meringue.

Randy Lutz has been promoted from executive sous chef to executive chef of Ame, the restaurant of Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone at The St. Regis in San Francisco. Before joining Ame, Lutz was chef de partie of Saison, which opened in San Francisco in 2009. On the restaurant’s spring menu are yellowfin tuna tartare kibbe with toasted za’atar flatbread and mint; chawan-mushi of lobster, sea urchin, shiitake and mitsuba sauce; and Berkshire pork tenderloin medallions on a “panzanella” of roasted cauliflower; and Rancho Gordo beans with Monterrey squid, warm chorizo and cuttlefish in aioli.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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