Fresh off his new Top Chef Just Desserts gig and a awesome vacay in Spain, we hear that superstar and oh so badass pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini is finally calling it a day at the Jean Georges empire. It's been eight years, and his star has been on the rise in the past couple of years, so the move is not a surprise one. But here's where it gets more interesting: rumor has it that he's being courted by Michael White and Chris Cannon's Altamarea group to run the entire pastry program for their stable of restaurants, including the upcoming Osteria Morini and Ai Fiori in the Midtown Setai. No word on how it will affect current pastry chef Heather Bertinetti.
This comes just two days after news broke that they picked up fairly well known cocktail man Eben Freeman to fill the role of barman and inventor or somesuch in the empire. That's a lot of big names, a lot of talent, and well, quite a few egos in one company. We look forward to finding out what other all stars are being pulled in by the White flame.
Update: Sad. White's camp says they are not in talks and have no idea where this sort of talk would come from. (We know but we'll never tell.) Well, they're called rumors for a reason, but we'll still keep an eye on both sides. Here's the official statement: "Chef Michael White states that he is not, nor are any members of The Altamarea Group, currently in talks with Iuzzini regarding a pastry position."
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