This won't be a shocker to anyone who spotted Willis Loughhead cooking at Govind Armstrong's Table 8 preview last month: The Feedbag reports that the ex-Country chef is now in at the upcoming Table 8 in the Cooper Square Hotel. Armstrong will be in charge of concept, Loughhead will be cooking every night:
"Loughhead’s full title is Executive Chef of the Cooper Square Hotel and Chef de Cuisine at Table 8, but he’ll be doing a lot more than just running Armstrong’s kitchen — he’s back to his old salty tricks, curing meat and fish, and helping to create the menus for two lounges, two bars, a 120-seat dining room, and a “salt bar” featuring various cured and marinated animal products.
We spoke to Loughhead after hearing the news and he told us that after he decided to bench his plans for his own restaurant, he considered taking over another restaurant but thought doing something from the ground up would be much more rewarding: "It's fun to be involved in every aspect from the staffing to the silverware, and I haven't done that since the Modern and before that the Ritz." He also assures us that he has no trepidations about getting back into the hotel biz after the problematic Country (also influenced by its hotel owner): "For me it's a challenge and staffing is a huge issue, but it's liberating." Right now he and Govind are collaborating on the menu "looking at it plate by plate" and plan on making the menu and the feel of the place different from the restaurant's LA and Miami locations.
· Willis Loughhead in as Chef de Cuisine at Table 8 [TFB]
· Fall Tracking Report: Table 8 [~E~]
· EaterWire AM Edition: Chef Willis Loughhead Out at Doomed Country [~E~]