Arik Bensimon Joins LeFarm, Carlos Baez Takes over The Spread

17 Apr

Rich, fatty, earthy...excellent pork belly atop French lentils

Rich, fatty, earthy…excellent pork belly atop French lentils at The Spread

Life’s kind of strange, isn’t it?  Chef Bill Taibe who started LeFarm and The Whelk became very well known in Connecticut when he cooked at G/R/A/N/D in Stamford, he started his own spot called Relish Food & Wine, and especially when he took Napa & Company to new heights.  When he left Napa in 2009, a chef named Arik Bensimon came in and took the reigns.  He was a chef who had received major praise from his experiences at Le Cirque and Picholine in NYC and La Panetiere in Rye.  LeFarm was born soon after.  And, from day one, Executive Chef Arik Bensimon made a name for himself again at Napa & Company plating food with heart, soul, and reverence for local food.  We were treated to an amazing dinner that Chef Arik prepared and we were really blown away…course after course.  Then this past summer we found out that Chef Arik had left Napa & Co and we all wondered…what was he up to next?  Well, he took Fairfield County by storm a second time by becoming Executive Chef at The Spread in Norwalk.  Again, we had a meal there and we really loved Arik’s rich and hearty dishes that were sprinkled with simple complexity, and vowed to come back time and again.

Local duck egg with black truffle at Napa & Co in Stamford CT

Local duck egg with black truffle at Napa & Co

And, now onto the life is strange part.  Chef Arik Bensimon has left The Spread and is now Executive Chef at LeFarm in Westport, owned by Bill Taibe.  We wish lots of great success to Arik and we’re so happy for him.  He’s the kind of guy who deserves the best.  Being Executive Chef at LeFarm, for him, will be a perfect match and can only push LeFarm to even greater culinary heights.  Seriously…make your reservations now.  You’re not going to be able to get in the door.

This switch, obviously, left The Spread without a chef.  But, former sous chef at The Spread, Carlos Baez has been with Arik and is now “in the hot seat” as The Spread shared on Facebook.  We also wish Chef Baez the best as he takes over an awesome restaurant that’s the talk of the town. And, that, of course, means that Executive Chef Geoff Lazlo has left LeFarm. But, hey, he’s keeping things in the family because he is now Executive Chef Lazlo of The Whelk! Congratulations, Chef Lazlo! We’re excited to try his food because we have heard so many great things.

You know what this means, right?  OmNomCT seriously needs to take a field trip to Westport and head back to LeFarm.  It’s been far too long since we’ve been there and this is the perfect opportunity.  (Look, we’re not stalking Chef Arik, we just think he’s one of Connecticut’s most talented chefs and we like his style.)  And then, on another day, we’ll need to check out The Spread again and see how Chef Baez has influenced the menu with his own culinary styles.

Sure, life’s kind of strange, but isn’t that what makes it awesome?

leFarm

Address:  256 Post Road East

Westport, CT 06880

(203) 557-3701

***

The Spread

Noms: 4.25

Cost: $$$

70 North Main Street

South Norwalk, CT 06854

(203) 939-1111

25 Responses to “Arik Bensimon Joins LeFarm, Carlos Baez Takes over The Spread”

  1. GeeTech April 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    any insights into what happened at The Spread?

    where does this leave Bill? Full time at the Whelk? Or helping launch his brothers place in Sono?

    Like

    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro April 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Hey GeeTech. Not exactly sure why Arik left, but we can say it’s an awesome move. When Arik came in, Geoff Lazlo left LeFarm and took over as Executive Chef at The Whelk. This leaves Chef Taibe in to cook where he’d like, to tend to the restaurants, and to work with farms and local producers.

      Like

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