In a Facebook post this evening, Chef Justice Neal of Blue Jacket, 135 E. National Ave., announced that he would no longer be working as executive chef for the restaurant.
Neal, former Blue Jacket sous chef, was promoted to executive chef after the departure of Chef Matt Kerley last November. His work included re-imagining the restaurant's dinner menu as well as designing a menu for lunch service.
In a brief conversation, Neal indicated he made the decision to leave Blue Jacket to take a new position at another venue. Although he would not elaborate further on his new role at this time, he did indicate that the move would be a positive step forward for his career.
"I was given an opportunity to move on," he noted. "And I think it will be better for my family. It was just my time to depart from Blue Jacket."
A phone conversation with co-owner Laura Harms van Heijningen confirmed that the split was amicable. Of the departure she noted: "We’re very grateful for the service Justice has given us, and we definitely wish him luck in his pursuits moving forward."
Additional changes are on the horizon for Blue Jacket, so stay tuned for details as they materialize. We’ll also be following up with Neal as he settles into his new position.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.