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Shakeup At Kith & Kin

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 13, 2010 4:20PM

2010_09_carrier.jpg In an eventful start to the week, Michael Nagrant reports at Hungry Mag that David Carrier (pictured) is out as Executive Chef at Kith & Kin.

Carrier, who's been commuting between his home in Georgia and Chicago to run the kitchen at Kith & Kin and help in the soon-to-open table in Andersonville with owners Ash and Moe Taleb, told Nagrant he received a call from Moe Taleb that, as of today, he would be taking over Kith & Kin with chef de cuisine Andrew Brochu staying on. That call was followed by another in which Moe Taleb said he handled Carrier's firing wrong and was "flexible" to Carrier buying out the Talebs if he could find a group of investors. Carrier said Moe Taleb was relieving him of his duties because of some menu changes Carrier was slow to implement and for yelling at some of the staff. Hell, if every chef was fired for those offenses, there would be no restaurants in Chicago.

Carrier's menu, his and Brochu's pedigrees working with Grant Achatz and Thomas Keller, and his commitment to the restaurant — a chef who's detached from his restaurant doesn't commute 1,000 miles round trip from Georgia to Chicago a month at a time and be hands on in all aspects of the kitchen — were responsible for the success of Kith & Kin in a space that was best known as a La Canasta where DePaul students not of legal drinking age could suck back Coronas and margaritas. Fact is, the food Kith & Kin has been consistently superior every time I visited. Nagrant waxes romantic about the chicken thighs and I've proclaimed my love for the crocks (which have me thinking differently about the mediocre picnic staples of my youth) and the orzo with Gulf shrimp and veal confit. So superior that, if I had to write a year-end list today, Kith & Kin would get my nod as my favorite new restaurant.

As Nagrant mentioned in his scoop, business relationships in the restaurant industry can be worse than marriages when they dissolve. Witness the very public separation of Shawn McClain from his former business partners Sue Kim-Drohomyecky and Peter Drohomyecky as another example.