Chef and Management Changes at Cask & Larder

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Eight months after it first opened, Cask & Larder, the Southern-inspired “public house” that also brews its own beers, is undergoing some major changes. Get ready for Cask & Larder 2.0.

James Petrakis, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Julie, says that the partnership arrangement that the restaurant originally opened under, with husband and wife team Tracy Lindskoog and Dennis Bernard, has ended. The Petrakises, who also own and operate the Ravenous Pig, will be taking more of a hands-on approach with Cask.

Bernard had been Cask’s chef de cuisine. Taking his place in the kitchen are Ravenous Pig veterans Rhys Gawlak, who will be in charge during daytime operations, and Jason Campbell, who will helm the kitchen in the evenings. (The restaurant is open only for dinner during the week and for brunch on Sundays.)  “They will work with me on all menus,” said James.

The menus are likely to change, too. “The feedback we’ve gotten from a lot of people is that the food is too ‘out there,’” said Petrakis. The lamb heart entree might be a good example. But don’t expect the lamb hearts to go away (nor should they; they’re wonderful). Instead, Petrakis says he’ll add some “safer” items for the less adventurous diner while still offering the items that allow him and the other chefs to stretch their creative muscles. He said he envisions the menu offering four or five staple items, “and then a sandbox for us as chefs to play in.”

Gawlak rejoins the kitchen crew after he and his wife, Alexia, have postponed plans for their charcuterie and butchery business. The two were to be part of the opening businesses in the still-under-construction East End Market. “Our gut feeling was not right,” Gawlak said in a message. “We are taking some time, rethinking and reshaping our vision.”

Along with changes at Cask & Larder, the Petrakis said the Ravenous Pig will undergo some physical sprucing. Nothing major, he said, just some tweaking of the six-year-old’s decor.

I suppose that means putting lipstick on a pig, but in a good way.

 

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