Big staffing changes at two big restaurants.
Perhaps the best and biggest news is that Sarah Master is going to be leaving Barbette to open her own place. Well, bad news for Barbette, but great news for us to have this much-heralded and distinguished young chef opening yet another restaurant. But here's the thing: She won't tell us if it's going to be a local restaurant or not. You know how it goes: They're still in negotiations, they're still crossing T's and dotting I's and they just can't tell us all that much right now.
What she would say is that she's going to be cooking up the kind of food she grew up eating on the Iron Range -- comfort food, with a little New Orleans twist, because she used to live there and she said she saw some correlation between what we eat up here and they eat down there. Like what? Like fried chicken livers on toast with jalapeño pepper jelly, house-smoked ribs, and horseradish mac and cheese-stuffed meatloaf.
No word on a name yet.
Her partner is Dan Beckwith, the former financial controller for all of Kim Bartmann's restaurants, so they'll have their dollars and cents in order. Masters says she feels well poised for this endeavor, having worked at Barbette for about six years, running it for more than three of those. With the kitchen open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week, "that place is kind of a beast," Masters rightly said.
"I'm sad to be leaving but I think I'm leaving with all the tools I need to be successful." She'll be taking her leave at the end of April. Bartmann says she'll be casting the net "far and wide" to fill the empty position, including Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco because Masters's shoes are so big to fill.
Opening date for the new place? "Soon!"
Kim Bartmann also told us that J.P. Samuelson is no longer chef of Red Stag. He had such a brief stint there, it barely registered. He's decided to take a new job as a salesperson for D'Artagnan, a gourmet foods company that sells fancy meat, game, foie gras, and charcuterie to restaurants. Bartmann says they parted ways on very good terms and she is supportive of his decision. If he decides to come back to the chef business, he still has a job in her company. She's moving a chef from another of her properties to Red Stag but hasn't said who it is just yet.
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