VOL. 133 | NO. 152 | Thursday, August 2, 2018
David Todd moves from The Green Beetle to Become Chef at Interim
The Daily News
There are big changes in store for Interim, the East Memphis restaurant where the constant has been change in its 12 years. Part-owner and acting executive chef Nick Scott is out and ownership remains with his former partners Tony Westmoreland, along with Brittany and Ed Cabigao, the couple who own SOB and Zaka Bowl.
In the split of property, Scott now has full ownership of Alchemy, 940 Cooper, and has City Block Salumeria with Brad McCarley, who is also the butcher at the shop housed in the former Porcellino's Craft Butcher on West Brookhaven Circle with a satellite location in the food court at 409 S. Main.
In 2016, Scott and Westmoreland purchased Alchemy and in 2017, bought Interim with the Cabigaos. Details of the division remain confidential, but here's what we know about the future of the restaurants.
Interim has hired David Todd of The Green Beetle as its chef, a departure from the fine dining chefs such as David Krog, Jason Dallas and others who have run it since Wally Joe left the kitchen he designed for upscale fare when he and Viking owner Fred Carl opened the space as Wally Joe in 2002.
"I've had a pretty winding culinary career," Todd said. "I started young and I was at Owen Brennan's back in the day, Ruth's Chris back in the day, River Oaks before Jose was, all front of the house. I took a couple of years off to get myself together. When I came back, I wanted to cook and I'd done some before, so I helped Ben Vaughn open Grace and Au Fond for about 18 months, then went to (TPC Southwind). I went to Acre for a while, right after they opened, then to Spring Creek in Collierville."
After that, Todd landed at the now-closed Schwienehaus for a while, at Bedrock Eats, then at The Green Beetle for a year.
He's ready to make his mark on Interim at 5040 Sanderlin.
"I don't think anyone has ever truly reimagined Interim, and I feel that's what needs to happen,” Todd said. “It'll still be Interim, still be fine dining, but I think fine dining has changed a lot in 10 years. I like bold flavors. I want to make the food a little more accessible, a little more fun. I'll get a good amount of freedom, but I'm not stupid. I'll keep the people coming who are coming, but I want to nudge the cuisine in the direction of more accessible fine dining with nice bright flavors, interesting ingredients, that kind of thing. I think it needs a jumpstart."
Scott is redesigning the menu at Alchemy, which will launch mid-August.
"We'll follow the small plates concept, but we'll beef them up a little, make them a little more refined," he said.
Drew Wooten, the bar manager at Interim, made the move to Alchemy with Scott and will also make changes there. Scott is operating Salt | Soy as a popup, but plans to have a brick-and-mortar spot for his sushi and Asian restaurant within a few months. He'll partner with longtime restaurateur David Nestler and Wooten will also serve bar manager there.
The renovation at Restaurant Iris, 2146 Monroe, is in high gear and could by mid-August. The interior was largely gutted to make room for a bar on the restaurant’s west and an open dining area on the east side. While Iris has had a patio for several years, owner Kelly English said the area will be more utilized when the restaurant reopens.
The menu at Iris was given the boot and everything will be new at the reopening. Want to try some of the dishes before the restaurant opens? Join food and dining editor Jennifer Biggs and other staff members of The Daily Memphian at a Friday lunch on Aug. 10 at The Second Line. Inside seating is booked, but email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve outdoor seating, weather permitting. The lunch is $20 and includes a family style tasting of new Iris dishes that diners will get to rate. You’ll be notified by email on Aug. 9 if outdoor service will proceed.
Back out East
Napa Cafe, 5101 Sanderlin, unveiled its new bar menu Monday. More than a dozen new items ranging from tacos to sushi are available 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Some items include a smoked trout tart ($8), blackened catfish dumplings ($9), fried stuffed olives ($5) and more. Specialty drinks change daily.