Dan Kluger, the driving forces behind Jean-Georges Vongerichten's smash restaurants ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, is leaving those establishments on June 27 to work on a new project of his own. Kluger was nominated for Best Chef NYC at this year's James Beard Awards, and he helped ABC Kitchen win the Best New Restaurant award in 2011. Flo Fab reports that Karen Shu and Ian Coogan will take over for Kluger at the ABC restaurants following his departure. Shu is the chef de cuisine at ABC Kitchen, and Coogan is the chef de cuisine at Cocina, so presumably, they will stay in their respective restaurants. No word yet on what Kluger has planned next.
In other staff shuffle news, Charles Masson, the fabled former maitre d' of La Grenouille, will manage a French restaurant in the forthcoming Baccarat Hotel in Midtown. Shea Gallante, formerly of Ciano, will be the chef. After decades running the front of the house at La Grenouille, Masson left the restaurant earlier this year, and his brother Philippe now runs the show there. This new restaurant will open in December. Starwood Capital is one of the backers.
Today, Flo Fab also reports that Tien Ho, formerly of Má Pêche and Montmartre, will be the corporate executive chef for the Morgans Hotel Group. The chef has been lying low since he left Gabe Stulman's Chelsea restaurant last fall. The Morgans Group operates boutique hotels in New York, Los Angeles, South Beach, and London, and the company plans to open several more venues around the globe in the next few years.
AND FINALLY, Ms. Fabricant also notes that beloved Manhattan bakery The Doughnut Plant is planning a third location at 245 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights. The new shop will open in October.