Yeah, so that good day Graham Elliot was having that was supposed to make up for the not-so-great week he's been having so far? Looks like that went to the shitter because Bryce Caron, the River North restaurant's pastry chef, got in touch with Eater to say he just walked out.
Caron's departure comes just one day after news broke that exec chef Andrew Brochu had parted ways with the restaurant. Caron said he'd been talking with Elliot and corporate executive chef Merlin Verrier about moving into Brochu's spot, as he'd been wanting to get back to his savory roots, but apparently they had a difference of opinion of how to run things.
Caron explained that in addition to offering five-, 10- and 15-course menus, Elliot and Verrier were talking about having everything also on an a la carte menu, which Caron thought was excessive and unnecessary.
"Everyone in the restaurant should be a team and if we're not going to work together as a team then I don't feel comfortable being a part of that," Caron said. "If they want to revert to their old ways, then I don't feel comfortable with any of that." It sounds a bit cryptic and like an odd reason to quit, but Caron also explained that tensions have been running high at the restaurant for the last few days and he just reached a tipping point.
Caron has only been at Graham Elliot for a little more than three months after being let go from Blackbird a few weeks before that. So where he lands next, that's up in the air. Maybe he and Brochu should open a spot together.
· Put On Your Party Hat: It's Graham Elliot Day in Chicago [~EChi~]
· Exec Chef Andrew Brochu is Out at Graham Elliot [~EChi~]
· Bryce Caron Lands at Graham Elliot as Pastry Chef [~EChi~]
· Bryce Caron Out at Blackbird, 'Just Wasn't a Fit' [~EChi~]
UPDATE—Graham Elliot just called Eater to tell his side of the story. Below, Elliot's statement:
Bryce let it be known that he wanted to take Andrew's place to be the chef. We let him know that we weren't comfortable making that decision now and wanted to see how things evolved over the next month or so. Everything seemed OK. Maybe 15 minutes after that he told Merlin he couldn't work there and left. Bryce is super talented and that's why we brought him on to the team. We had big plans for his future and wanted to see him grow from pastry to savory. We never hold grudges and still wish the best on his future endeavors.