Executive chef Alexis Chong out at Sway

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Executive chef Alexis Chong and Sway have parted ways, according to the restaurant’s reps. Director of Culinary Development Scotty Szekretar will serve as the interim executive chef while the Thai restaurant searches for Chong’s replacement.  Chong replaced Rene Ortiz in August 2013.

“The current culinary team at Sway is extremely skilled, and will continue knocking out amazing services, building up talented young chefs, and compelling guests to return for the experience we all know and love,” the Violet Crown management group said in a statement.


Josh Watkins out at Chavez

Josh Watkins. Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell.
Josh Watkins. Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell.

Chavez, the restaurant at the Radisson Hotel & Suites on Lady Bird Lake, and new executive chef Josh Watkins have ended their relationship according to reps from Chavez.

Watkins joined the Radisson at the beginning of February with plans to change the restaurant’s name and concept in April. Reps for Chavez says a replacement for Watkins has not been named.


Philip Speer resigns from Uchi Restaurant Group

Philip Speer joined the Uchi Restaurant Group in 2005. (Credit: Claire McCormack)
Philip Speer joined the Uchi Restaurant Group in 2005. (Credit: Claire McCormack)

Philip Speer has resigned from the Uchi Restaurant Group. The two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist served as the prestigious restaurant group’s director of culinary operations and executive pastry chef, joining executive chef Tyson Cole’s team in 2005. Speer previously worked at Jean-Luc’s Bistro, Seven, and Starlite in Austin, and at chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Bank in Houston.

The Houston native spearheaded the opening of the restaurant group’s most recent restaurant, St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bake Shop (named after the patron saint of pastry chefs and bakers), which opened in October. But Speer, 37, took a leave of absence from the group in mid-October after being arrested for DWI following a collision that caused a natural gas leak. Speer later returned to the restaurant group in an undefined role, which he occupied until his resignation this week.

“We understand his decision and are grateful for his innumerable contributions and dedication over the last ten years and we wish him success for his future endeavors,” the Uchi Restaurant Group said in a statement.