More than a year has passed since Thomas Elliott Bowman left Homaro Cantu's theme restaurant iNG for Baume & Brix, leaving Cantu to run the kitchen himself. Now he finally has a replacement, announcing Tim Havidic as executive chef.
Havidic has worked off-and-on at sister restaurant Moto since 2009, leaving intermittently to attend the Culinary Institute of America and work in upstate New York and Los Angeles. He was effectively groomed in Cantu's flavor-tripping style of molecular gastronomy, making him an easy choice.
"I feel like I started my real culinary experience with Moto so (Cantu's style) is not progressive to me, it's normal," Havidic says. "It's how I feel cuisine is headed these days."
Havidic's formal training is in butchering, returning to Moto two years ago because he "wanted to actually cook more rather than just be a butcher." Collaborating with Cantu on the new "Street Food" menu, launching July 30, he's in charge of executing the vision set forth by Cantu and staff. Street food-inspired dishes span the globe, from Central America to the Far East.
The latest in a long lineage of Cantu disciples, Havidic says he has seen "the changing of the guard five or six times." He says business, all though up-and-down the last few months, is "pretty good."
Whatever changes Cantu brings to the table, with rotating themed menus or otherwise, the new executive chef says he's ready. "I love challenges like this, trying to create a menu in six weeks," Havidic says. "It's fun—I'm up for it."
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· iNG [Official Site]