On Friday, Brian Lusher of The Grape announced that his chef de cuisine Danyele McPherson would be leaving the restaurant. She's to be replaced by Jed Demler, who previously worked multiple positions at Hibiscus on Henderson Avenue.
McPherson started at The Grape as sous chef in March 2011, after a stint at Stephan Pyles, where she held the same position. She took a leave of absence in 2012 to appear on Top Chef, and when McPherson returned, was given control of the kitchen.
The Grape, if you haven't been, is smallish, neighborhood bistro with a laid back feel. McPherson's new home at HG Sply Co. couldn't be any more different.
HG opened last year and was promptly crushed by neighborhood diners that came in droves to chow down on the paleo-friendly menu. The place has been packed ever since from the patio, to the ground floor, to the massive roof deck.
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I caught McPherson briefly after she enjoyed a takeout meal from CrushCraft with her fellow Grape employees on her last day. She says she can't say too much about her new position, but notes that she's not replacing chef Ronnie Esposito at HG, but rather joining his team. They're currently working on an upcoming spring menu.
And how was CrushCraft?
"That place is awesome," she said. "Cheap, counter service and they serve everything in green packaging, all the way down to the ramekins."