The Palace Hotel Hires Head Chef

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Ongoing point-of-sale system issues have forced The Palace Hotel to repeatedly delay its official grand opening, but the “underground boutique dive bar” last night hired an executive chef.

Blake Joyal, who’s currently the butcher at FIG, will work in tandem with restaurant consultant Eva Keilty before taking over the kitchen.

“He is amazing,” says Keilty, the Warehouse opening chef who designed The Palace Hotel’s starter menu of gourmet global hot dogs. “I’ve been looking for someone for a while.”

Prior to moving to Charleston last summer, Joyal was chef de cuisine at Wong, which bills itself as the city’s “first Asian restaurant to emphasize local and seasonal fare.” His earlier Manhattan cooking stints included sous chef gigs at Craft, Picholine and The Modern. In 2012, he was a contender for the title of Eater’s Hottest Chef. That same year, food writer Gael Greene described him as “devoted and gifted.”

Keilty says Joyal will create a menu of serious food that doesn’t conflict with The Palace Hotel’s generally lighthearted attitude toward food and drink. “He definitely wants to keep the direction we’re going in,” she says. “We’re keeping our price point. We’re not going to be the next $19 burger.”

The Palace Hotel, 35 Hanover St., is open daily from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. For more information – and to get a preliminary peek at the new venue – check out the “Now Open” column in tomorrow’s Post and Courier food section.

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