Union Square Hospitality Group announced the appointment of a new executive chef, Jean-Paul Bourgeois, who will take over in March 2014 at Blue Smoke, succeeding Kenny Callahan, who, after working with USHG for twenty years, will move on to new culinary projects.
Raised in Thibodaux, Louisiana, chef Bourgeois’ enthusiasm for soul food was reinforced during his training in St. Thomas, and has shaped his specialty as a Southern chef. Most recently, Bourgeois was the Chef de Cuisine of Gramercy Terrace at The Gramercy Park Hotel.
“Jean-Paul will preserve the core of what has made Blue Smoke one of New York City’s most popular restaurants, while infusing the menu with many new treats, from riffs on family recipes to foods that have inspired him during his many travels throughout the South,” noted Mark Maynard-Parisi, Senior Managing Partner of Blue Smoke.
Bourgeois will also be at the helm of the menu at Porchlight, a Southern-inspired bar which will open in the fall of 2014.
Callaghan announced his retirement in September 2013, after twenty years with USHG. Callaghan, a pioneer of the barbecue culture of New York City and a co-founder of the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party with Danny Meyer, is set to appear in an upcoming 2014 documentary, The United States of Barbecue.
Blue Smoke’s flagship restaurant is located on East 27th Street in New York City, and a second location opened in 2012 in Battery Park. Blue Smoke is often credited as being at the forefront of New York City’s barbecue movement, with a menu that honors the culinary traditions of the American South. The restaurant has received praise from publications like Vogue, Gourmet, Food & Wine, New York magazine, and others. As a member of USHG, Blue Smoke is a part of Danny Meyers’ deep culinary reach in New York, including Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern, Shake Shack and many other restaurants.