Ben Bettinger, chef at the popular SE restaurant Beaker & Flask, is leaving to join his old mentor Vitaly Paley at his new Downtown restaurant. From Oregon Live, “Coming to Beaker and Flask was a huge stepping stone, my first opportunity to find and develop my own style,” he says. “Now I have the opportunity to work with a great friend and mentor again.” Rumors have been flying for months, that Vitaly Paley of Paley’s Place restaurant, would be opening a new concept. Paley’s Place was my 2010 Restaurant of the Year.
In a statement to PFD, Kevin said, “While I’m sorry to see him go, it’s an amazing opportunity for him to grow as a chef and I couldn’t be happier for him. As a replacement, I’ve chosen our Sous Chef, Anthony Walton and I’m excited about the possibilities. I considered looking outside for a new chef, but Anthony came to me with a great presentation and a whole host of great menu ideas and a vision for the food at Beaker. His style incorporates more of an Americana aspect and I expect to see a bit more in the way of “drinking food” find its way on to the menu. He has a background in pastry, so we’ll probably expand the deserts, as well as bring back the late night menu. It’s an exciting time, as the recent additions to our bar have made it the strongest crew we’ve had since we opened. Anthony has some great ideas about working the bar into the kitchen a bit more and creating more harmony between our food and the cocktail program.” Ben will remain at Beaker for another month.
I think this is a good move for all parties. Ben got to stretch his wings and design a menu for B&F, and now he can be on the ground-floor of another new venture. At the same time, Beaker & Flask will get some new life injected into their menu. Win for everyone.