Tim Penn, who was the opening executive chef at Il Sole, has blown out of his most recent executive chef post at the lauded Bay Leaf restaurant in Deep Ellum. Bay Leaf owner Ronnie Crayton says Penn cut loose to pursue consulting exploits and to spend more time with his young daughter. Penn has been replaced by Bay Leaf chef Josh Hopkins. Hopkins, who has been in a virtual tag team with Penn for the last couple of years doing stints with him at Il Sole, Jeroboam and the Green Room before landing at Bay Leaf, will have a new Bay Leaf menu finished by the first part of June.
Mike Palesh has replaced James Rowland as executive chef of the recently refurbished Greenville Bar & Grill. "When me and James came in and opened up Greenville Bar & Grill our whole plan was that James would stay until it got up and running and I would take over responsibilities after that," Palesh says. "We kind of came into this whole venture with a plan." That plan now mandates a limited presence for Rowland, who will appear only one or two days per week. With the rest of his time, Rowland is pursuing other ventures, such as catering and consulting...Nana, the restaurant roosting atop the Wyndham Anatole Hotel's tower, has installed Gregory Sonnenburg as wine steward and cellar master for the posh 'n pricey dining room with a view. Under the gaze of restaurant General Manager Paul Pinnell, Sonnenburg will oversee Nana's new 1,800-bottle wine cellar stacked and inventoried in the tower's 27th floor. Sonnenburg's résumé includes entries as assistant wine steward of Del Frisco's Fort Worth and manager of Bistro Louise in that same cowtown...U.S. wine exports to the rest of the globe surged 3 percent in 2001 to 80 million gallons, according to the Wine Institute. The thirstiest country for U.S. juice was the United Kingdom, which gulped some 24 million gallons, a 32 percent increase over 2000. Canada and the Netherlands rounded out the top three. Yet despite this 3 percent burp, the United States still represents just 5 percent of the world wine export market...Bush's Baked Beans has just released some explosive U.S. holiday dining statistics. For instance, Americans eat enough cans of baked beans Memorial Day weekend to lap the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 415 times. Or try this: On July 4, those same Americans devour enough cans of baked beans to build a skyscraper out of bean cans taller than 9,000 Empire State Buildings. The biggest summer holiday bean-eating town is Detroit, which inhales 1.3 million pounds of beans during Memorial Day weekend and 1.7 million pounds during Independence Day weekend. Isn't Detroit the town that is feverishly studying alternative automotive fuels?