Christian Petroni, the chef de cuisine at Peniche in White Plains, is going to be the chef and GM at Barcelona in Greenwich, one of the mini-empire of tapas restaurants owned by Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz.
“We’re going to try something new,” said Andy. “He’s going to be the chef and the GM. He’s going to run the whole place. It’s the first time we’ve done this.”
Scott Weiss, the sous chef at Peniche, will take over in the kitchen, said Anthony Goncalves, the executive chef and one of the owners.
“I’m so proud of Christian,” said Anthony. “I want him to be successful and well rounded.”
About Scott, Anthony said he’s been working for him for 7 years, even when the restaurant was still Trotters. “I’ve watched him grow,” he said.
“I’m very excited to move on,” said Christian. “I had great years at 175 Main (meaning Trotters and Peniche) and looking forward to taking on a new venture.”
Andy Pforzheimer, a Harvard-educated chef, and Sasa Mahr-Batuz, a former tennis champ, opened their first Barcelona restaurant in 1996. They now have six locations throughout Connecticut and are the largest tapas group in the U.S. and one of the top sellers of high-end Spanish and South American wines in America.
They just opened their sixth location in Stamford, and just released “The Barcelona Cookbook.” Many of the recipes and menus from the book are taken from their own parties.
Christian, who worked at Trotters and Peniche since he was 17 years old, gave Peniche a month’s notice and will start in Greenwich at the end of the month.
“We admire that,” said Andy. “We have a manager right now in Greenwich, so there’s no gun to our head.”
Andy and the Barcelona group will also be taking Christian with them on their annual research trip to Spain later this year.
The 411 on Barcelona in Norwalk. Greenwich will be in the 411 shortly, but for now: 18 West Putnam Ave.
Greenwich, Conn. 203.983.6400.