Downtown Blues announces executive chef
With construction underway on its new Rehoboth Beach location, Bethany Blues announced Juan Hernandez as executive chef for Downtown Blues, expected to open in spring 2023.
Hernandez brings with him a wealth of experiences and a love of simplicity when it comes to coastal cuisine. From his humble beginning at the Georgia House in Millsboro to his time at Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach and Off the Hook in Bethany, he is poised to bring his style and kitchen savvy to Downtown Blues.
“Many of the places I have previously worked helped me realize a variety of interpretations when it comes to using local ingredients. I love to use that knowledge to expand the conversation on coastal cuisine, and Blues is the perfect place for me continue that work,” said Hernandez.
Downtown Blues will include the staple barbecue items the community knows and loves from the Bethany Blues brand, and Hernandez is keen to give the Rehoboth Beach location a distinctly seafood twist on the menu as well. He wants to celebrate the local fare of the Delaware area while elevating the barbecue, and adding in some heavier seafood influences and creative menu items.
Zach Warner, Bethany Blues Bethany Beach director of operations, is looking forward to opening the new location and having Hernandez on board. “I am very excited to have Chef Juan back on the Bethany Blues team. I have had the pleasure of working with him in the past, and he is a talented chef. Over the previous few years, he has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge, and I am thrilled to see how he can take that experience and incorporate it into our Downtown Blues concept,” said Warner.
In the meantime, Hernandez is hard at work perfecting his smoking and barbecue skills at the Bethany location while he prepares to organize the new kitchen in Rehoboth. In February, he will begin the work of piecing together new recipes and menu items, as well as diving into the classics Bethany Blues is known for.
“Creativity is the center of what I am most excited about,” Hernandez said. “Putting together a kitchen where everyone knows what to expect, but can also be creative within that space is important, and it helps keep things fresh.”