News broke early this afternoon that Nilton “Junior” Borges, who stepped into the role of executive chef at FT33 in January, is leaving the upscale restaurant for The Joule Hotel.
Borges said he’d been approached about the opportunity even before he took the job at FT33, and that his stay at the restaurant was never meant to be permanent. He said there are no hard feelings between him and FT33 chef-owner Matt McCallister.
“We’re friends. We’ve known each other since I got to Dallas. When I lost Uchi he wanted me to come over here and get changes started, especially with the chef’s tasting. Of course he knew about The Joule for a few weeks, and he’s been super excited for me.”
Borges’ last dinner service at FT33 will be next Saturday, May 7. He steps into his role at The Joule in two weeks.
“It’s a great opportunity to get in there and make operations better. It’s definitely a big job … CBD and Americano fall under my umbrella, but I’ll oversee all of the culinary operations at the hotel, from catering to the restaurants. Richard [Blankenship] and Matt [Ford] will still be the chefs. I’m not the chef, but I will be working with them on developing food and operations, and making everything better.”
As for FT33, Matt McCallister will be stepping back into the role of executive chef.
“I’ve know for about two to three weeks,” McCallister says. “When [Borges] left Uchi it was abrupt, and I didn’t really have a position for him…we’re good friends, we screwed around in the kitchen and had fun. He got an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. I’m super excited.”