David Hands is the new chef at Bouchon, the Thomas Keller-run bistro in Beverly Hills. Former chef Rory Hermann, who opened the restaurant three years ago, stepped down "in order to take time to focus on his family," according to a news release. Herrmann could not be reached for comment.
Keller praised Hands, who had been Herrmann's executive sous chef and had earlier worked at Per Se in New York. "Every year we try to identify who in the younger generation of chefs in our company we have a lot of hopes for and he was always on that list."
No major changes are expected at the restaurant. Because Bouchon is a classically oriented bistro, chefs are primarily responsible for cooking a menu that is identical across three restaurants -- besides Beverly Hills, there are Bouchons in the Napa Valley and in Las Vegas.
"Bistros have a great tradition and we're trying to maintain the integrity of that," Keller says. "Except for the specials, we have certain dishes that people always expect to see when they come to dine with us -- the lamb, the roast chicken and things like that. But at the same time we're always trying to modernize when possible."