Chef Michael Perez has left Donetto and parted ways with Indigo Road Hospitality Group, the company that owns the six-month-old Italian restaurant in West Midtown. His last day was two weeks ago.
Perez has accepted the executive chef position at Cannon Green, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in Charleston, S.C. He begins his tenure there April 1.
Now helming the kitchen at Donetto is Elliot Cusher. Cusher has worked at numerous restaurants throughout the Southeast, including Cochon in New Orleans and Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami. He has worked for the Indigo Road group in Charleston for the last five years, beginning as a sous chef at The Macintosh and most recently as the executive chef at Indaco, the same restaurant where Perez got his start with the hospitality group nearly five years ago.
Perez began as sous chef at Indaco and ultimately helmed that kitchen. The group’s expansion to Atlanta led to his move here, where he oversaw culinary operations at both Oak Steakhouse and Colletta at Avalon. (Indigo Road also operates O-Ku Sushi in Atlanta’s Midtown.)
Perez stated that he “parted ways amicably” from Indigo Road, and called the group’s managing partner Steve Palmer a “mentor and a friend.”
“I wish him the best,” said Palmer about Perez. “We opened that restaurant with someone we thought we would be working with for a long, long time.”
Perez also called Cusher a “great fit for Donetto.”
Palmer agreed. “His approach is sometimes ‘less is more.’ Some of his best pasta dishes have four ingredients in them. He is definitely a restrained chef,” he said of Cusher, whose first day in the Donetto kitchen was Feb. 26.
According to Palmer, the Donetto menu, its pastas in particular, will see changes in the next few weeks. “We’re not going to depart from the concept, but Elliot will quickly put his touch on the menu.”