Richie Farina has announced his exit from Michelin-starred Moto fifteen months after taking over the kitchen, Crain's reports. The news comes just under two weeks after a lawsuit brought by Alex Espalin, an investor in the restaurant, attempts to remove chef/owner Homaro Cantu from Moto and seeks financial damage, accusing Cantu of improper accounting and locking Espalin out of the company's decision-making.
Farina's exit also comes on the heels of executive pastry chef Claire Crenshaw's a few weeks ago. Moto vet Chris Anderson has been announced as Farina's replacement via a press release.
Cantu, responding via e-mail, says of Farina: "I'm very proud of what chef Farina has done behind the stoves of Moto in the last 7 years and wish him well." He adds, "It's always great when someone you care about and respect moves on, it's what you would wish for any friend."
Anderson, who hails from North Carolina has spent time at Le Bernardin in New York, as well as Alinea and L2O, will be implementing two 9-course tasting options, as well a full 18-course menu.
There's still time to enjoy Farina's menu, however, as the former Top Chef contestant will be in place until April 18. His final week will see a menu devoted to the "greatest hits" of his seven years at Moto.
UPDATE: Farina has responded with a statement. "A great amount of thought and care was put into my decision to leave Moto. I leave with great respect and admiration for all that I have accomplished and learned at Moto and from chef Homaro Cantu. I have been approached with a variety of opportunities, but I will be focusing my time with charity events for organizations such as: No Kid Hungry, ProStart and CNCF, to name a few. I will be spending time giving back and enjoying being a newlywed until I inevitably open my own restaurant. I am still in the developmental stages of this new adventure. Chef Cantu has given me a great opportunity to push myself beyond what I thought was possible. I would never be where I am today without my time at Moto. Thank you to everyone who has worked for me and taught me over the years."