The Patina Restaurant Group’s loss is Superba Food & Bread’s gain, as pastry maestro Carlos Enriquez announces that he’s split from the former to help revamp the pastry and bread program at the latter.
In an email sent to Eater, Enriquez says that he’s learned much from chef Joachim Splichal in the three years he’s been on board there, but was looking for an exciting new challenge. Enriquez, of course, was no slouch before landing at Patina, having been a Top Chef: Just Desserts contestant who worked previously in Las Vegas.
In part, Enriquez hopes to stabilize what has been until now a very wobbly ship at Superba Food & Bread. The beautiful Venice all-day space has, in just over one year, cycled through a number of executive chefs, bread/pastry folks, and front of house/management talent. Most recently was bread and pastry lead Minnie Choe, who hit the bricks after less than two months. Don’t be surprised if, in the coming months, more new hires come up as Enriquez and Hibler attempt to streamline their vision for the place.
So what’s the plan? A complete overhaul on the bread and pastry side, at least. That means a wider range of savory and sweet pastries, like vanilla bombolinis and reuben croissants, as well as an expansion into a wholesale arm that will supply coffee shops and restaurants with their stuff. One interesting note: Enriquez did say that owner Paul Hibler has managed to create his own mini hydroponic farm behind the restaurant, where they are now apparently growing a lot of the herbs they'll need. The first step on a long road to overall sustainability (with their food and their staff), perhaps?