It was reported that highly touted executive pastry chef Tandra Watkins of the Capital Hotel will be leaving next month and moving to Miami.
Her husband, James, has had battled "to remain in Little Rock because of the city's airport limitations," said Chuck Magill, director of marketing at the Capital Hotel, in an email. "Finally he received the proverbial offer 'too good to pass up' that will move them to Miami, which will also allow Tandra a variety of professional options."
She is a native of Arkansas who made her way through the entire program at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris to perfect her skills. After school, she returned home and was handpicked to command the pastry kitchen at the Capital Hotel.
In February, she was nominated by James Beard Foundation as semi-finalist for its 2013 title of Outstanding Pastry Chef -- a very prestigious honor for any chef. And, shortly after, Watkins was nominated for Food & Wine's "The People's Best New Pastry Chef Award."
"Her departure marks the end of an intriguing chapter in local culinary lore to be sure," Magill said. "At this stage the team she has built is certainly capable of maintaining her quality standards...on the other hand, pastry is Joel [Antunes'] first love, so you may be confident that he will lend careful attention to the department's strategic direction."