After a year at Blue Jacket, Chef Matt Kerley is moving on.Â
"We have gone in a new direction at Blue Jacket, and it was a really tough decision, but we felt it was better for both parties to move in separate directions," says co-owner Laura van Heijningen.
Prior to Blue Jacket, 135 E. National Ave.,Â KerleyÂ was the head chef at Rumpus Room.
Justice Neal, Blue Jacketâ€™s former sous chef, will serve as the new lead chef.
"Heâ€™s really stepped up and proven himself to us. So, we felt it was time to give him that promotion," says van Heijningen.
Bittercube was originally a partner in the restaurant. Recently, Bittercube stepped out of the business partnership and took on a consulting-only role.
"We dissolved our partnership with Blue Jacket about six months ago due to the fact that we just didnâ€™t see eye to eye on certain aspects of running the business. But we felt that weâ€™d put a lot of time and effort and training into making Blue Jacket what it was â€“ and helping to make it a success â€“ so, we moved our focus to the bar and continued on as consultants," says Bittercube'sÂ Ira Koplowitz.
However, van Heijningen and co-owner Tom van Heijningen decided to completely move away from the Bittercube program and, consequently, parted ways with Bittercube'sÂ Mike McDonald â€“ who worked for Blue Jacket â€“ along with the bartenders who worked with him.
"At this point, weâ€™ve severed our affiliation completely," says Koplowitz.
"Ultimately, the restaurant world is tough, Tom and I donâ€™t make these decisions lightly. But, at the end of the day, we just wanted to reign things back to the original intention of the restaurant," says van Heijningen. "We donâ€™t discredit those who have helped to make the restaurant what it is, because we really do owe them in getting us this far. But, itâ€™s time to move forward."Read more...