Chef flight

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Change, change, change: In the past month, a few local hotspots have undergone a little chef shake-up action.

The Kitchen, the Selland family’s performance-dining experience, saw the departure of Executive Chef David Chavez and the introduction of Kelly McCown. McCown was already in the Selland’s nexus for his work at Ella Dining Room & Bar, and he was on tap to lead the family’s upcoming Italian venture, OBO’. It’s the third executive chef change in less than three years for the prized restaurant, which will soon experience even more change when it moves from the Arden area to Broadway.

Over at Pangaea Bier Cafe, chef Robb “Rossi” Venditti quietly departed to launch a new catering company with chef Aimal Formoli of Formoli’s Bistro.

Venditti stepped up Pangaea’s food game in a serious way when he joined last year. Pangaea earned a glowing three-and-a-half stars review from both this paper and the Sacramento Bee. His burger is often called one of the best in Sacramento.

Brett Stockdale, previously the restaurant’s sous chef, is now leading the kitchen. Luckily for burger fans, Stockdale said he doesn’t think diners should notice any major differences in the restaurant’s fare.

“I’m keeping things steady,” he said. “A lot of stuff will be very similar.”

One new addition to the menu: a huge bratwurst that weighs 8 ounces and measures 7 inches in length. It’s something he and Pangaea’s owner Rob Archie had wanted for a while, Stockdale said. He’s also planning to add more special, one-off beer dinners with breweries.

Then, at Mother, Anthony Scuderi took the reins from Michael Thiemann and Matt Masera, who are busy with the eventual Empress Tavern launch. According to Sactown Magazine, Scuderi held stints at a bunch of Spanish restaurants, so we may see that influence seep into Mother’s menu. Best news: His arrival brings back the Chef’s 10. A couple can enjoy eight savory dishes and two desserts for $65.

Another Magpie: With its big move to 16 Powerhouse, Magpie Cafe has been in SN&R a lot lately. Well, here we go again: Magpie’s former location on R Street reopened late July as Magpie Nido, a casual cafe serving breakfast, lunch, coffee, beer and wine. In addition to pastries—similar selection to Magpie’s Yellowbill Cafe—it will serve soup, pizza, empanadas, granola and breakfast sandwiches.