Upscale Detroit restaurant Besa has a new chef

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A year after opening, upscale chef-driven restaurant Besa is getting a new leader in the kitchen. 

West Coast transplant chef Kyle Schutte, who created interesting and well-received lunch and dinner dishes for Besa, is moving on. The owners are bringing in new executive chef Nick Geftos, who is launching new dinner and lunch menus on Oct. 7.

Besa restaurant debuted last fall on the ground floor of the Albert Kahn-designed Vinton Building at Woodward and Congress.

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, Geftos has worked at Plum Market, Iridescence at MotorCity Casino Hotel and was also executive chef at Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro in Birmingham. 

The 5,500-square-foot restaurant in the Vinton Building in downtown Detroit is run by managing partners Mario Camaj and Gerti Begaj. Camaj is also the owner of Tallulah Wine Bar. The hospitality-forward restaurant became known for its sophisticated plating and an expertly crafted wine list. 

“Our first year in Detroit surpassed all of our expectations,” said Camaj in a press release. “Now with chef Nick on board, we’re looking forward to taking our culinary offerings to new heights, continuing to provide our guests with an intimate and unique dining experience matched with unparalleled service.”

Chef Nick Geftos is the new executive chef at Besa in downtown Detroit.

Some of the menu items that Besa's clientele have become familiar with over the past year will stay on, including the Hudson Valley duck breast and the Niman Ranch lamb shank. Geftos will add a hamachi "hot pot" soup, an Alaskan halibut dish and Amish chicken breast. 

When asked why Schutte was leaving, Camaj said the skilled chef was seeking professional opportunities outside of the hospitality industry. 

Schutte expressed gratitude on social media as his last week at Besa wrapped up by posting photos of some of his dishes and the headlines the restaurant collected in its first year.

Besa, 600 Woodward in Detroit, is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 4-11 p.m. Saturday and 4-9 p.m. Sunday. Visit

More:Restaurant review: Besa is a stylish, bold addition to downtown Detroit scene

Twitter: @melodybaetens