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Chef Schwartz out at El Camino, chef Enyart in; chef Bettis takes reins at Brown Hotel

An update on some recent chef shuffling across town.

“The Road” is a short one for Schwartz: Jonathan Schwartz’s stay as executive chef at El Camino hit a dead end about a week ago. He has left the restaurant and has been replaced by Brian Enyart, who according to Eater Louisville, most recently was chef de cuisine at Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, Rick Bayless’s brilliant Mexican restaurants in downtown Chicago.

Schwartz, the soft-spoken chef behind the super-flavorful So-Cal-Tex-Mexesque grub at The Silver Dollar, not only moved to captain the kitchen at El Camino several months ago, his mother-in-law, a Cancun, Mexico, chef-restaurateur, helped him refine the So-Cal-surfer-street-food (enough compound adjectives for you?) menu for El Camino.

Asked why Schwartz left as the restaurant was still at the crest of its opening wave, operating partner Larry Rice said simply the reasons were complicated.

Back to Enyart: He spent 14 years under the demanding and dynamic Bayless, which surely counts as one of the best hands-on culinary educations in the country. It will be interesting to see how much of that influence permeates the El Camino menu.

Brown Hotel hires Bettis: Josh Bettis took is the executive chef’s post at the Brown Hotel at the end of November. He replaces Laurent Geroli, the gregarious French Canadian whose work kept its high-end restaurant, The English Grill, at the center of Louisville’s culinary scene for several years. (Geroli left several weeks ago to take over the culinary program at Mount Washington Hotel, an historic mountain resort in New Hampshire.)

Bettis comes to Louisville via Scottsdale, Ariz., where he was executive sous chef at the Montelucia Resort and Spa. According to a statement from the hotel, he is a graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and has spent the past 18 years in hotel kitchens around the world mastering Latin American fare in Miami, Old World European techniques in Ireland and Southwestern flavors in Arizona.