Chef shakeups continue for Charlie Palmer Group

Just as it seemed the Charlie Palmer Group was finally getting all of its ducks in a row in Las Vegas, we get word of another kitchen shakeup. Thomas Griese has left Charlie Palmer Steak at The Four Seasons.

An overhaul of Palmer’s local landmarks began this year, with renovations and a new chef team for his eponymous steakhouse. Thomas Griese, a veteran of the local Bouchon and Le Cirque outposts as well as San Francisco’s Mina Test Kitchen, took the reins as executive chef, to widespread acclaim.

That was followed by news of an Aureole re-boot at Mandalay Bay, highlighted by the return of Palmer’s former employee Johnny Church to run the kitchen. The new executive chef, who has also held high-profile positions at RM Seafood, MTO Café, Andre’s and Artisanal Café, has reportedly dialed in his menu over the past few weeks. And a full rollout to members of the media is planned for January. So Griese’s departure from their downstairs sister restaurant couldn’t have come at a worse time for the restaurant group.

Fortunately, Palmer’s locally based director of operations is Steve Geddes, who is also both a certified master sommelier who once oversaw Aureole’s iconic wine tower, and an accomplished chef in his own right. And he’s decided to break out his chef’s whites once again to take over the steakhouse kitchen, with more than a little help from executive sous chef Lalo Saavreda. While the menu is fairly standard between Charlie Palmer Steak locations across the country, Griese’s seasonal additions are expected to remain until they’re rotated out naturally. More importantly to Geddes, however, is his and Saavreda’s combined experience will “allow us to pull the front of the house and the back of the house together.”

Griese, in the meantime, checked in from Dallas where he’s spending time with his nephews. While he reports “some really exciting stuff on the horizon” with regard to his career, he says he’s currently enjoying traveling and catching up with family.

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