Two Top Chefs Depart Virginia Beach

Coastal Virginia has lost two top chefs.

Both Scott Simpson, former executive chef at Swan Terrace at The Founders Inn and Spa, and Jerry Weihbrecht, former executive chef at Zoës Steak & Seafood, both in Virginia Beach, have moved out of state for positions elsewhere.

Scott Simpson Swan Terrace Founders Inn and Spa chef

Swan Terrace and Zoës were consistently in the Top 10 restaurants in Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Platinum Plate Awards; Zoës was selected as Number 1 several years ago.

Simpson, who had been at Swan Terrace since 2011, departs as property management company Capella Hotel Group’s contract expired at the end of last year. His last day at the restaurant was Dec. 31.

In October, Regent University, which owns the hotel, said it would take over its management from Capella on Jan. 1. The property is adjacent to its campus.

A graduate from Culinary Institute of America, Simpson has worked at resorts worldwide, as far-flung as Arizona, Bali, Russia and South America. He most recently worked in Jamaica.

His fine dining approach and execution elevated Swan Terrace during his tenure.

Simpson begins as executive chef and head of culinary education for the Hotel at Auburn University in January, involved with various culinary training programs within the Alabama university as well as at the hotel, a Capella property.

His sous chef, Darren Scott, assumes the role as executive chef.

Jerry Weihnbrecht Zoes Virginia BeachWeihbrecht, who left Zoës in June and has been consulting and assisting Ross Riddle with his HASHi food truck, left the region in January.

He originally designed and opened the award-winning Oceanfront restaurant in 2003, directing culinary operations as executive chef until late 2008 when it closed briefly; Zoës reopened in early 2009 with new ownership, and Weihbrecht continued his tenure.

The chef returns to his native northeastern Pennsylvania to work with the Bear Creek Community Charter School in Wyoming Valley, working with youth and helping them learn about eating healthy and locally.

Jesse Wykle, former executive chef at Eurasia, currently runs the kitchen at Zoës.

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