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November 16, 2010

"Superchef" Flies to Bluebird

Food-planetchef Visitors to Burlington's Bluebird Tavern tonight will get a taste of something unexpected: a new chef. Both Aaron Josinsky and his wife, manager Laura Wade, have left their jobs at the buzzed-about localvore eatery.

In Josinsky's place, Michael Clauss (pictured), late of The Daily Planet and a recent Bocuse d'Or contender, has entered the kitchen. Clauss left the Planet in August "to do his own thing," according to that restaurant's co-owner Copey Houghton. Josinsky — a semi-finalist for a James Beard Foundation award for his work at the Bluebird this year — and Wade could not be reached for comment on what Bluebird owner Sue Bette called "new challenges." They will both continue to tie up loose ends at the eatery's office through this week.

"Laura and Aaron did a tremendous job laying a strong foundation for their leadership," says Bette via phone. "They're certainly an inspiration to our team." When Clauss cooks his first meal at the Bluebird tonight, he will certainly have big shoes to fill, but Bette has no concerns. "The Bluebird is strongly tied to its mission," Bette says of her restaurant, which changes its menu nightly to pay optimal homage to the ingredients that arrive each day.

Though Bette says Clauss plans on putting his own stamp on the Bluebird's cuisine, he plans to keep the menu firmly in line with the aesthetic pioneered by Josinsky. No matter what, Tavern Tuesdays will never be quite the same.

I lament that I didn't get a chance to eat Aaron's food one more time. It was a sad day when they stopped doing brunch. Today is an even sadder one.

Not only will Tavern Tuesdays never be the same, BBT will never be the same. I highly, highly doubt that anyone will be able to fill Aaron's uber-talented shoes. I wish BBT lots of luck but it's my fear this is the beginning of the end.

Aaron made blue bird "Blue Bird". He was and is an extremely talented Chef. I have found only a few chefs located in VT with his talent and doubt that they will find anyone locally to be the same caliber. I went to Blue Bird multiple times because i knew it was going to be some of the best food around. Good Luck to the HUGE SHOES the new chef will have to fill.

I have heard around town that Laura and Aaron were fired, anyone know the real scoop on what happened???

This makes me so, so, so very sad. This was literally the only restaurant in Burlington where I felt justified in spending over $20 for dinner, and did so many times. I've since moved from the area and remember fondly all of the mindblowing creations of Chef Aaron. I'd love to know what really happened...

This is horrible news. The Bluebird was Burlington's best restaurant, and Aaron and Laura were the reason why - Sue Bette would have to be crazy to fire them! Aaron's food was unparalleled in Chittenden County and what made that restaurant so special, and Laura's attention to detail in the front of the house was felt from the minute you walked in the door. I so hope the quality of the restaurant remains high, but I honestly was just not a fan of Clauss's "superchef"-ing at the Planet (despite all the attention he received in this paper and the Free Press), so I don't have high hopes. My wish now is that Aaron and Laura will open a place of their own, preferably downtown, as the options there (even with all the highly touted new restaurants) are just mediocre (oh, Smokejacks, how we miss you...).

I was thrilled to discover that Chef Clauss has landed at the Bluebird. The new menu is an vast improvement over the old. The food presentation was creative and also delicious. Defintiely worth a trip to the Bluebird for a fine meal.

This should be called Superchef FLEES Bluebird. What a shame.

I think Bluebird will actually benefit from this move- I just ate here this week (with the new chef), and got a chance to check out the new menu. While it still had a lot my personal favorites- it also had a couple new selections which were great- the crab cake as well as the cod, which my table just loved. Still has a ton of selection for us "foodies", but is also a bit more welcoming to those who don't want to feel intimidated and confused looking at a menu.
Anyway- best wishes to Aaron and Laura, continued success to Sue and good luck to Chef Clauss.

Yikes. I am leery of ANY menu with crab cakes on it. It's time for Sue to change the BBT website and update the menu so those of us who are scared to venture in since the change, can have an idea what we're in for.

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