Despite having decimated homes and businesses throughout the Northeast and, in particular, areas in and surrounding the stoic city of New York, Hurricane Sandy has destroyed neither hope nor opportunity. And that's exactly what one talented chef—Philliberto Jimenez—has found. After losing his job at Brooklyn's prestigious River Cafe, he recently landed a golden opportunity as head chef at Blue Planet Grill.
According to Jacob Krumgalz, the owner of Blue Planet Grill—or "BPG"—Jimenez accepted the job after learning that the unforgiving storm wrecked the River Cafe, closing its doors for months. No doubt, the news was tough for Jimenez, his former employer, and the entire River Cafe team. But thanks to Blue Planet Grill, Jimenez says he's found heart and hope in this "new kitchen," where he'll continue honing his culinary talents. At Blue Planet Grill, Jimenez will lead a top-notch culinary team, working in tandem with the entire restaurant staff.
"My heart goes out to my 'family' at the River Cafe, particularly as they work through the process of cleanup and repairs," says Jimenez, whose background includes 10 years at the River Cafe as the sous chef for executive chef Brad Steelman and consulting for Le Petit Cafe in Brooklyn. "Particularly given the tough times, I'm very grateful to Blue Planet Grill for opening its arms to me as I take this next step in my culinary career."
Blue Planet Grill, or "BPG," sits in the heart of New York's financial district, across the street from the 9/11 Memorial. Just one year old, the restaurant has received rave reviews for its global fusion fare and liquid art cocktails designed by the city's renowned Artemio Vasquez, formerly of Pegu and PDT fame. While the restaurant has become a definite hotspot for tourists, it's been gaining traction with die-hard locals and gastronomical gurus, too—an outcome that's been anything but accidental. According to BPG's owner, Jacob Krumgalz, catering to a diversity of customers and unbeatable talent has been part of BPG's mission from the get-go.
"Our menu covers all the bases, satisfying the simplest or pickiest of palettes," Krumgalz says. "Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, it offers a healthy array of hearty comfort foods sprinkled with savory surprises—everything from tasty Country French Toast to a high-class version of the Philly Cheese Dog, and, among some of the dinner dishes, succulent stroganoffs, Whole Grilled Branzino, fresh ravioli fare, and, of course, a fine cut of steak. And now, with Jimenez steering heading up our menu and culinary staff, plus Artemio—a definite local draw—regularly serving up his collection of creative cocktails, Blue Planet Grill is poised for one fabulous winter season. For the holidays, Jimenez has designed a not-to-be-missed five-course meal, available only at Blue Planet Grill."