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Michel Richard picks new chef for Citrus

September 24, 2008|Betty Hallock

FOR THE last several weeks, Omri Aflalo has been helming the stoves at Citrus at Social as acting chef de cuisine, and now chef-owner Michel Richard is making it official. Aflalo takes up the post relinquished by former chef de cuisine Remi Lauvand, who departed abruptly last month.

Aflalo, 28, cooked at Gary Danko and Aqua in San Francisco and previously had worked closely with Richard at Citronelle in Washington, D.C. He also worked at l'Essentiel in Chambery, France, and at Nero Bianco in Namur, Belgium.

"He worked with me for three years, and I feel good having someone in my kitchen that I can trust," says Richard, who was in town earlier this month from Washington, presumably to help steer the ship after Lauvand's departure -- which raised questions about whether Citrus at Social, open since February, was drawing enough diners.

But Richard is proceeding with business as usual. Expect modest menu changes. "I'm going to start testing recipes, and there will be some changes, but I'm trying to implement Michel's style, his sense of the whimsical," Aflalo says.

Citrus at Social, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 462-5222; www.chinagrillmgt.com/social.

-- Betty Hallock

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At latimes.com/food Blog: Breaking news, notes and food musings daily. Video: Pastry technique demo from chef Michel Richard.

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