Chef changes can often be hard on a restaurant, however we feel like our favorite lunch place, Forty Two, is in good hands with Chef Gilbert Alaquinez being named to the executive chef role.
Alaquinez has been the sous chef at Forty Two and the Clinton Center for the past two years. Prior to that he spent five years as the chef at the Governor’s Mansion during Mike Beebe’s tenure as well as time at Capricio at the Peabody hotel and the executive chef for the Alltel headquarters.
He takes over for Chef Stephen Burrow, who left earlier this month after seven years in the position to become the executive chef at Chenal Country Club. Burrow tells us that he was ready for a change and would have never left without the amazing staff that are all remaining in place to support Alaquinez in his new role.
From my personal perspective, I am very excited to see the direction Alaquinez takes with Forty Two. He has a unique blend of American, French, and Latin American cooking styles that will hopefully lead to some highly creative dishes as time goes on. He also is an extremely capable baker, while he bakes breads frequently for the restaurant and center, his full potential may be still to come as he takes over the menu.
Chef Alaquinez will be one to watch. The Forty Two menu has taken amazing strides in the last few years, transforming from the museum side sandwich and burger shop to one of the best places to eat in the city.
You can catch Chef Alaquinez and Chef Burrow along with pastry Chef Anne Wood and Ben E Keith Chef Shane Henderson later this month at the Next Course dinner. Get more information and buy tickets here.