Matthew Aita, who earned some critical acclaim over the past two years at Le Philosophe, is now the executive chef of Chefs Club by Food & Wine. Aita tells Eater that he's actually been quietly at the helm of the restaurant since it opened back in November. Chefs Club ostensibly features a rotating cast of star chefs (like Gabriel Rucker of Portland's Le Pigeon) curated by Food & Wine magazine, but as was revealed when the restaurant opened, those chefs created dishes for the menu, but are only in the kitchen themselves for brief guest stints. Hence the need for an executive chef.
Originally Adour chef Didier Elena was said to be overseeing the kitchen, but Aita has assumed the role and will be developing the menu in conjunction with the visiting chef, adding dishes to compliment their cuisine on the al la carte menu that is served in the main dining room. Meanwhile Elena will serve as the culinary director for this and the other Chef's Clubs that are planned, but not yet announced, in other cities. In addition to the main dining room there is a 20-seat, reservation-only studio where visiting chefs serve a tasting menu. Aita likens the studio to an art gallery, displaying different artists through out the year. The space will also host one-off events from visiting international chefs. Originally from Philadelphia, Aita's work experience includes the Rittenhouse Hotel in his native city as well as stints in Colorado and in NYC working for both Daniel and Jean Georges.