I recently reviewed The Mill Kitchen & Bar in Roswell. During the course of the review process, I learned that chef Marc Taft, who opened the restaurant, no longer has any affiliation with it. Owner Scott McCray said they were “holding over” a chef de cuisine of Taft’s until a new chef was found.
A new chef has been found. Benjamin Castro stepped into the position last week. This Athens native and CIA-trained chef has worked with Hector Santiago at Pura Vida and Doug Turbush at Bluepointe. He’s also spent time at Bistro VG and comes most recently from the very newly opened NOCA. Castro explained he “didn’t see eye to eye” with the owner at NOCA.
Castro says he immediately identified the consistency issues at The Mill and is working to get the kitchen refocused and to correct “bad habits.” He will spend the next few weeks retraining the staff and formalizing systems to ensure consistency.
Once he’s inserted some discipline in the kitchen, Castro will release a new summer menu. He plans to work within the existing Southern farm-to-table concept but will make many changes to the recipes and plating.
The pimento cheese fritters and the shrimp and grits are two of the very few dishes that will remain mostly intact. Others, like the fried chicken and the short ribs, may reappear in re-imagined form.
Desserts will also receive an overhaul with a new pastry cook. The cobbler will become a truer version and other pastries will be fresher.
I look forward to visiting The Mill Kitchen & Bar again with the hope that Castro can help the restaurant fulfill its potential.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog