Restaurateur Juan Padro has always said that one of the reasons he keeps expanding the stable of restaurants under his Culinary Creative group is to give employees more opportunities for advancement and variety. That was true when chef Carrie Baird joined the group at Bar Dough in 2017, hot off her final-four finish on Top Chef , after the Italian eatery's opening chef, Blake Edmunds, moved on to open Señor Bear a couple of blocks away.
And it's true today, as Culinary Creative says goodbye to Baird, who is leaving to start her own eatery inside Boulder's Rosetta Hall (though she'll maintain an ownership stake in Bar Dough). The executive-chef vacancy has set off a whole series of moves within the restaurant group, starting with Russell Stippich taking over the position. Stippich was in the kitchen at The Populist when it closed last summer, and he stayed on when Padro and his partners opened Mister Oso there in November.
"Carrie will remain part-owner of Bar Dough," Padro notes, "and we're excited to see what Russell will bring to the table and what menu changes he'll make."
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The restaurateur notes that several other changes will take place along with Stippich's promotion. Reggie Dotson and A.J Schreffler will be moving up the ladder, while Stefy DeVita, who worked under Baird, will join executive chef Sebastian Ramirez-Lohner at Señor Bear. DeVita and Ramirez-Lohner are both Puerto Rican, and Padro (whose father and many other family members are also from Puerto Rico) says he's looking forward to the continued evolution of Señor Bear's menu, though he notes that Peruvian and Mexican influences will continue to be central to the restaurant's mission.
DeVita will also represent the company in Puerto Rico in April for a Mister Oso/Señor Bear pop-up for Tales on Tour, the traveling offshoot of the New Orleans drinks celebration, Tales of the Cocktail. Meanwhile, another Señor Bear chef, Sebastien Hoentzch, will take over at Mister Oso.
Culinary Creative's other partners are Katie O'Shea and Max MacKissock, and the restaurant group also includes Morin and Ash'Kara.