Monday, January 11, 2010

Uptown restaurant changes chef

Mark Hibbs, known for an emphasis on local foodstuffs and seasonal menus, is no longer chef at Ratcliffe on the Green in uptown Charlotte, but says he retains an 11 percent ownership in the restaurant.

Hibbs says he was told Friday his services were no longer needed. Ratcliffe general manager Erik Carpenter confirmed Hibbs' departure, but said, "Mark went off to do other things." Carpenter said the ownership group is Zach Goodyear; his father, George Goodyear; father-in-law Gary McCoy; and McCoy's brother, Ed.

Sous chef Greg Balch, who worked with Hibbs the last three years, has become executive chef, says Carpenter, and the menu will remain split between brasserie dishes and a chef's tasting menu. That chef's tasting lineup, however, will go to a quarterly change, rather than shifting every few weeks. The restaurant is also adding brunch Saturday and Sunday through January, and will open for Sunday dinner through that month as well.

Hibbs, who cooked in D.C. and Charlotte's Cosmos Cafe before opening Ratcliffe, says he plans to stay in Charlotte with his wife, who had been pastry chef at Ratcliffe's.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully Mark will land somewhere that allows him the freedom he once had at Ratcliffe. Very creative and talented chef.

Cheri said...

A real loss, but as this door closes, I'm sure a window (perhaps a lovely stained-glass one) will open for Mark. Fingers crossed.

Dana Davis said...

I was disgusted with our experience Saturday night as we had a guest from NY who came in for the Light the Knight Gala and stayed over to take in the city she was visiting for the first time. Ordering the tasting menu, we received the first bite, about 30 minutes later. A dreadful over-spiced sauce ladled over 5 small shrimp, I immediately asked our waiter:"Chef's not here is he?" Should have left then.
It got worse. The lobster pot pie seemed more a canned bisque with few solid ingredients covered by a square of nearly raw philo dough. Entree': a chicken leg quarter over packaged noodles. No veg: not a green, orange, or yellow in sight.
Dreadfully finished with three different desserts, brought without consultation and all commercially prepared (Sam's?) at some earlier date. Clearly the pastry chef had left with the chef.
We'll go where Mark goes. I am so grateful for the lovely lunch he and staff prepared and served for a large gathering of friends just before Thanksgiving.
With Chef Hibbs gone Sat. night, we were ill-served, and headed with our hungry guest over to Amelie's.
She was impressed with our cultural offerings per capita, and even gave me wry credit for knowing immediately that something (CHEF!) was amiss. NOT a gastronomic memory unless you keep a top-ten list of DREADFUL.

Anonymous said...

i used to work there. mark was never there and when he was, he wasn't cooking. greg has been running that place for the past 3 years, mark just got all the press. everything good came from gregs mind and his cooking. mark was taking that place for a ride.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous isn't Greg? Greg has been invited to James Beard house ever?

Anonymous said...

Chef Mark Hibbs has impressed me at several farm-to-fork dinners around the Piedmont, and I appreciate his support for local farmers. I had been looking forward to dining at Ratcliffe on the Green for some time, but my first visit quickly turned into my last. Regardless of who cooked my meal in mid-December, the service was the worst I have ever experienced at a restaurant. The waiter was passive-aggressive, openly making jabs at customers. The other waiters looked miserable. Do yourself a favor and dine where the food AND the service are world class.