Just after Chronicle critic Alison Cook gave La Balance Cuisine an admirable three-star rating, and after being named Eater's "So Hot Right Now" establishment of the year, executive chef Jose Hernandez told the Chronicle's Greg Morago that he is leaving that four-month-old establishment. La Balance Cuisine garnered much initial attention due in part to Hernandez's impressive resumé. He was the pastry chef for Philippe and the chef de cuisine at Triniti. He said that since he was the public image of the restaurant, he felt it crucial to address the media directly. According the the chef, the split came down to differences in how to run the restaurant. Hernandez says that his level of discipline and how to lead a place simply clashed with Atenco's vision.
We first reported that the esteemed chef would be leading a small French eatery in Cinco Ranch back in August. At that time Hernandez told us: "I know it's going to be a little far for some people to visit us, but it's what we could afford because we don't have any investors." When we asked if there were future plans for a Houston-area establishment of his own, he tells us, "There will also be plans to open another restaurant, and many people approached me about the good reviews and comments; many people approached me about investing." He said he wants something longstanding, not short-term, and something in writing.
Hernandez thinks its is likely he will stay in the Cinco Ranch area: "I liked the people and customers here. But it could also be somewhere else; I'm looking at options." For now, he has lined up three consulting projects, where he will help to create menu dishes that are customized to each establishment. "For the moment, that's it," Hernandez tells Eater. "A restaurant doesn't open from one day to the next."
· La Balance [Official Site]