A downtown wine bar has added a chef with quite the résumé.
Blend, an upscale restaurant and bar at 304 Laurel St., has hired Troy Deano as its executive chef. Deano previously worked in the same position at City Pork Deli & Charcuterie and 18 Steak at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge.
“I’m taking it slow,” Deano said of his new job. “I’m seeing what [Blend] could be. We really want to push the fact that it is a restaurant.”
Deano added that more than half the menu has changed. However, the menu will continue to be in the chef’s wheelhouse of bringing local, seasonal dishes to patrons.
“I call it upscale Louisiana food that’s approachable,” he said. “I’m putting my twist on it.”
Patrons can expect charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and other smaller plates. The menu also currently features a “Blend burger,” shrimp and grits, and pan-seared scallops. But, Deano said the menu will change frequently, depending on what’s in season.
Blend’s kitchen hours will be Tuesday-Thursday 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Those interested in seeing what Deano is cooking up can check out his upcoming Tin Roof beer dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Tickets are $60 per person. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Blend is owned by Firebelly Concepts, the restaurant group that owned the now shuttered Serranos and the upcoming Trademark catering facility on Third Street. Deano will work in the kitchen at the catering venture, too.
The move to Blend is an interesting one for anyone who has been following Deano’s career. Late last year, Deano had started working with the Louisiana Culinary Institute on an annex that would be located behind the facility on Jefferson Highway.
The annex would feature at least two restaurants, a wood-fired pizza concept and Deano’s own restaurant to be called Brackish.
Deano said plans for Brackish to come to LCI’s annex were scrapped, and he is unsure if anything will happen with that facility. However, Deano said that restaurant is not completely out of the picture.
“Brackish has not gone away,” he said. “It could be something that happens in the future, most definitely.”