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Vivace brings in new chef from Miami

Rodrigo Velazco joins Charlotte’s chef scene as executive chef at Vivace.
Rodrigo Velazco joins Charlotte’s chef scene as executive chef at Vivace.

A Caracas native from Miami’s The Local Craft Food and Drink is the new executive chef at Vivace in the Metropolitan, according to news released Friday.

Rodrigo Velazco was chef de cuisine at The Local, and also has worked at 1826 in Miami Beach and at the acclaimed Yardbird Southern Table.

Velazco official joined Vivace, on Aug. 15 and is currently reviewing the menu. Expect a revamp of the contemporary Italian lineup, with more use of North Carolina products.

Kevin Jennings of Urban Food Group, which owns Vivace, 1100 Metropolitan Ave., said Velazco has “everything we were looking for and then some – a respect for local and seasonal ingredients, a willingness to experiment combined with a respect for tradition and years of experience in managing big kitchen operations and training staffs. He also has front-of-house experience and speaks fluent Spanish – two big bonuses.”

Urban Food Group was founded in Raleigh in 1998 and now includes Vivaces in Raleigh and Charlotte, as well as Motto in Durham, Coquette and Chow in Raleigh and Avelina, opening soon in Denver.

Kathleen Purvis: 704-358-5236, @kathleenpurvis

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