Despite being the executive chef at one of Esquire's best new restaurants of 2010, Stephen Wambach is out at Epic. We got a tip yesterday that this might be the case and a message from Wambach confirmed the news. Word is he's being replaced by former N9NE Steakhouse chef Michael Shrader; we're trying to get confirmation on that.
"They have decided to take another direction," Wambach wrote us. "It was a great opportunity and challenge to open a 204-seat, three-star [restaurant]."
For now, the Brooklyn-born chef has moved down to Panama City, Panama to help famed chef Laurent Tourondel in the just-opened LT Signature Restaurant in the upscale Manrey Hotel, which only has 36 rooms, but with a restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar.
Next Wambach will travel around the mountains in Panama and end up deep-sea fishing in Costa Rica before heading back to New York. He wants to get back to work in the spring, but at this point where or what is still up in the air. Wambach said he'd like to return to Chicago, but that there are amazing opportunities abroad.
Regarding Epic, Wambach said "In the end it was a business decision. After doing 12 openings I know that this is always a possibility at the one year mark." He added that he remains on good terms with the owners and wishes them well on the new direction.
· Longman & Eagle, Epic & Bayless' Red O on Esquire Top 20 [~EChi~]
· Stephen Wambach Out at Epic? [Marissa Explains it All]
Stephen Wambach with a yellowfin tuna in Panama [Photo: Facebook]