Jason McLeod, the surprise breakout two-star Michelin executive chef at RIA at the Elysian Hotel, abruptly left Thursday, according to Crain's. Danny Grant, the restaurant's chef de cuisine, will continue to run the kitchen there as well as at Balsan, the hotel's more casual spot, and is taking on further responsibilities.
The Elysian just released a statement saying that Grant "has been the foundation of RIA and Balsan since the property’s pre-opening in 2009" and that he'll now also oversee all catering and in-room dining. Interesting that the press release says McLeod "decided to pursue other opportunities," which we can speculate means he was likely let go and they're sugar coating it. The question that remains is why?
Crain's quotes an Elysian hotel spokeswoman as saying that there had been a "couple of changes in staff." We hear that the Elysian allegedly also let go two in-room dining managers, some sales people and that their head concierge
was also fired left about a month ago.
McLeod's departure is definitely a shock. He was one of only three Chicago chefs to receive two Michelin stars last year when the venerable guide released its first-ever Chicago edition. And McLeod, along with Grant, recently introduced a new menu when RIA reopened after a short winter break. McLeod told us he was very excited about the new additions.
As of this posting, McLeod had not returned our calls.
· Ria Re-Opening Tonight; Reveals New Menu Items [~EChi~]
[Photo: Jason McLeod (L); Danny Grant (R) ]
CORRECTION: We mistakenly reported that the Elysian's head concierge was fired about a month ago. We received a note from the former concierge saying he in fact was not fired, but left on his own decision. We regret the error.