After garnering some pretty stellar reviews for his one-man revival of Spanish cuisine in Los Angeles, chef Perfecto Rocher is out at smoke.oil.salt., the restaurant he helped to open more than a year ago.
The move has been quietly whispered about for weeks, but nothing concrete came forward until just this morning. Along with the details on Rocher’s release comes a surprising twist: Ricardo Zarate will be manning the stoves, trading Spanish regional cuisine for a sort of pan-Spanish flair that reflects what the restaurant is calling "casual world cuisine."
Adam Fleischman’s AdVantage Restaurant Partners, along with smoke.oil.salt. owner Stephen Gelber, are calling Zarate a consulting chef, so there’s every chance that the once-high flying Peruvian chef will only be around for a limited time. Gelber plans to continue the Spanish wine program he installed, and the ownership group says that many of popular wood-fired dishes from the restaurant will remain.
"We are grateful to Perfecto Rocher for his role in helping to establish smoke.oil.salt.," says the release, "We wish him well as we move ahead and expand our offerings."
No word on where Rocher, who in addition to being talented is also rather well-liked in the restaurant community, will end up. The change in leadership is effective immediately.