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'Chopped' Winner Named Head Chef of New Cobble Hill Gastro Pub

COBBLE HILL — The winner of "Chopped" reality food show Joe Bayley will be the new head chef at a Hicks Street gastro pub, which opened last month.

Bayley, a Spanish-trained chef who won an episode of Food Network’s chef competition in 2009, has created a menu for Vekslers, a neighborhood gastro pub owned by Robert Veksler, which officially opened on July 18.

The news was first reported by the Cobble Hill Blog.

With a menu that reflects flavor connections from Spain and the Philippines, where Bayley is from, the restaurant will serve dishes like the “Atlantic Squid,” grilled squid with potatoes and a chili and shrimp tapenade.

But the eatery will also have a few familiar favorites. Vekslers’ take on a quarter-pounder with cheese is a five-ounce burger with a cheese béchamel sauce.

And if you’re a fan of eggs, there will be plenty at Vekslers, including slow-poached duck eggs, said Bayley, who remembers a time, several years ago, when an egg on a dinner menu would have elicited the reaction, “What is this? Breakfast?”

Bayley hopes the restaurant will be a spot where locals can relax with a beer and good food, “and not spend $30,” he said.

“We just want to be that place for the neighborhood,” said Bayley, who lives in Park Slope. 

Vekslers, located at 521 Hicks St., will serve dinner on Tuesday to Sunday and weekend brunch. For more information, visit this website.