Camille Becerra, the named chef at upcoming Lower East Side restaurant APL has split ways with the owners and will no longer be involved in the operation. The news doesn't come as a big surprise given the history of the space. For the better part of the year, reports have gone back and forth on whether the Paloma chef was doing something at 146 Orchard. And strangely enough, when news came out two weeks ago confirming that Becerra was indeed the chef, the comment section quickly filled friends of the owners deriding the chef and "desperate attempt...for publicity." Never a good sign.
Designer of APL Steve Lewis breaks the news and offers his thoughts:
After almost a year of delays, when an egress was denied by a landlord and an alternative had to be approved by the buildings department, the joint now loses what I consider its greatest asset. The jury is still out on whether APL, pronounced “apple,” proves to be full of worms or a Golden Delicious....I want APL to succeed because it’s something I helped create. I want it to work, but the loss of a chef hours before a restaurant opens is a questionable decision at best.He notes that the place is pretty much ready to open its doors.
· APL Loses Its Chef, Can Greenhouse be Cool? [BlackBook via Bowery Boogie]
· Camille Becerra to Open APL on Orchard Street Next Month [~ENY~]