Meet the chef: Local dining favorite gets a new leader

The way guests dine at Wine Country Bistro is changing.

The restaurant is in a season of change as a new head chef and menu settles into place this fall.

Nick Simons was promoted from sous chef to chef de cuisine at Wine Country Bistro this month after the prior chef of seven years, Anthony Felan, left the restaurant to open an upscale food trailer at Red River Brewing.

Simons, who worked under Felan for about two years, said he’s ready to step into the new leadership role.

“Chef Anthony gave me a lot of leeway and freedom to do some things and write specials, so it’s not as big of a transition as it would be normally. I guess he had been breeding me for his position,” Simons said.

The transition has been smooth, Simons said, and he’s taking on his new duties in stride.

Simons now manages a kitchen crew of 14 and his tasks include scheduling staff and overseeing inventory and menu management.

He’s taking lead on creating and rolling out a new autumn menu with the assistance of his boss—Wine Country Bistro owner Jason Brady.

“We’re excited. We’ve always, in our company, have promoted from within. I truly believe that any time there is an opportunity you should give it to someone’s who’s been with you if they can handle it,” Brady said.

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