Acadia chef Ryan McCaskey has moved to Stonington, Maine, according to the Tribune. That’s where McCaskey has been calling home during his virtual Zoom court appearances and where he operates another restaurant, Acadia House Provisions. The chef is at the center of a flurry of allegations that he has harassed and mistreated workers at his two Michelin-star South Side restaurant. Acadia is currently closed and McCaskey refused to commit to reopening the restaurant; he confirms in an unrelated move that he’s been selling furniture and equipment from the South Loop space.
McCaskey tells the Tribune that he sees himself leaving Chicago and moving to Maine full time where he can raise a family “and be a normal adult.” His Maine restaurant, which debuted in 2019, is back open. The paper’s report reiterated several allegations that came to light over the summer, including that McCaskey hosted a private party with strippers at the restaurant and pressured workers to attend.
Meanwhile, McCaskey has a scheduled January 15 court appearance in the case involving former Acadia server, Cody Nason. Nason claims McCaskey engaged in an online harassment campaign where he defamed his character and posed as his deceased older brother. The campaign, Nason alleges, launched as retaliation after Nason contributed to a list of allegations by former Acadia workers that was posted on Instagram. Last month, McCaskey filed a counterclaim against Nason claiming he and his attorney fabricated the story in an extortion scheme.
In other news...
— South Side Weekly is celebrating the area’s top culinary destinations as a part of its annual end-of-year roundup. 2020 picks include Mexican restaurant Peke’s Pozole (“Best Comfort Food By the Gallon”), vegan spot Plant Based Junkie (“Best Healthy Fast Food”), beer and kombucha brewer Whiner Beer Company (“Best Spiked ‘Booch”), and many more.
— Chicago native and chef Lamar Moore (Currency Exchange Cafe, Smoke Daddy, the Swill Inn), has left his head chef position at Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse in Las Vegas. The job was the prize Moore earned when he won Food Network’s Vegas Chef Prizefight. He’s back in Chicago plotting his next move and Moore writes in an Instagram post. “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” the post reads. “I am humbled to have been a part of the restaurant’s opening and to have won my head chef position on #VegasChefPrizeFight... This is not a goodbye, this is a thank you.”
— Maya-Camille Broussard, the owner and baker behind popular Chicago pie shop Justice of the Pies, is among five female entrepreneurs spotlighted in “FIVE,” a new documentary series slated to air next spring, according to the Tribune. Broussard is the sole American features in the series. It premiered at the San Diego International Film Festival and will air in March on ShortsTV.
— A North Shore butcher who has run Poeta’s Italian Food Mart in suburban Highwood for years was sentenced to a year in federal prison for an illegal sports bookmaking scheme that brought him millions of dollars, the Tribune reports. Domenic Poeta, 63, pleaded guilty earlier in the year to counts of illegal bookmaking and filing a false tax return.