AQUA by El Gaucho has replaced executive chef Peter Levine with Steve Cain, because Levine "didn’t align himself" with Mackay group standards says chain executive chef Ken Sharp. Sharp continued in an email to food writer Ronald Holden, that though Levine is "very talented, he could not get over his ego." For his part, Levine tells The Stranger that, "Its all good on my end. I will persue my own place this year... I guess I didn't fit in with the El Gaucho kitchen."
The Mackay press release describes the change in chefs as a coming home of sorts for Cain, as he began the Mackay phase of his career at Waterfront Seafood Grill(AQUA by El Gaucho's former name) back in 2000, when it opened. Cain was most recently chef de cuisine at El Gaucho Bellevue. Query whether Hanna Raskin's scathing review of AQUA's food had anything to do with this change?
[Photo: Mackay Restaurants]