Atlanta Restaurant Scene

EXCLUSIVE: Donetto new exec chef talks changes at the West Midtown restaurant

The departure of Michael Perez as executive chef at Donetto brings a new face to the Atlanta restaurant scene: Elliot Cusher.

And, as Perez prepares to move to Charleston, S.C. to helm the kitchen at Mediterranean-inspired Cannon Green, Cusher recently moved from Charleston, his hometown, to Atlanta.

“I’m excited to be here,” said Cusher. “It’s a little different from Charleston because it’s larger in scope.” 35, whose career in the industry spans nearly 20 years.

Cusher, 35, has spent nearly 20 years in the industry. He has worked at numerous restaurants throughout the Southeast, including Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami and Cochon in New Orleans.

“Then I decided to boogie back to Charleston,” Cusher said.

For the last five years, he has worked in Charleston for the Indigo Road Hospitality Group, the same group that operates Donetto. Cusher began with the Indigo Road as a sous chef at The Macintosh. He then moved over to Mercantile & Mash. Most recently, he served as executive chef at Indaco.

“I feel like less is more, simple is elegant and high-quality ingredients speak for themselves,” said Cusher of his style of cooking. “I like to be approachable for the guest.”

He said that he enjoyed preparing dishes that were a “blend of contemporary and traditional” as well as “a few things that are chef-forward and a little more progressive,” but in all instances “recognizeable.”

Cusher plans to put his touch on the Donetto menu starting this weekend. The first change will be with pasta dishes, with the antipasti section of the dinner menu soon to follow.

Beginning this weekend, the Sunday brunch menu will also see changes. Cusher hopes the addition of shrimp and polenta, eggs in Purgatory, ricotta pancakes, a shaved porchetta sandwich, and pastries such as doughnuts and coffee cake will give the menu more of a brunch feel. “It is right now more a carry-over from dinner,” he said.

Besides the chef and menu changes at Donetto, the restaurant will offer Sunday dinner service beginning March 11.

RELATED:

Exec chef change at Donetto

Take a first look at Donetto in West Midtown

Review: Donetto

 

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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.

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