Behind the Line

Fooq's Lands Former Cypress Room Cooks

Fooq's owner David Foulquier has hired Bryan Rojas, who recently left his position as chef de partie at Michael Schwartz's Cypress Room, to run the kitchen at Foulquier's downtown spot. Along with Rojas, Cypress Room's former chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia is also serving as a temporary consultant, helping him revamp the homestyle menu.

Many of the dishes that have become fast favorites since Fooq's opened in March will remain, including some of former chef Nicole Votano's contributions, such as ultra-light meatballs and bucatini all'amatriciana. The Persian sundae, which blends florally saffron and rosewater gelato, will also stick around.

"We'll be keeping the same menu structure and homey, rustic feel, but I think the cuisine will definitely be a little bit more elevated than it was before," Foulquier said. With Rojas behind the burner and Alcudia helping out, it shouldn't be hard to accomplish. Cypress Room long boasted some of the city's best-executed cuisine with crystal clear stocks and consommés, perfectly cooked fish, and a fantastic array of terrines.

Alcudia and Rojas left the Cypress Room — which is slated to undergo significant changes — earlier this month, while Votano departed Fooq's for the forthcoming Dirt in Miami Beach.

Among the coming changes to the menu are a roast chicken dish as well as some French and Persian-inspired plates touching on Foulquier's heritage. At the moment, the kitchen is toying with pan-roasted squab over arugula and lentils, as well as a vegetarian-friendly delicata squash stuffed with ratatouille and Parmesan over farro risotto.

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Zachary Fagenson became the New Times Broward-Palm Beach restaurant critic in 2012 before taking up the post for Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson