The news came earlier this month: big-hearted Jon Emmanuel is leaving Project Angel Heart to follow a dream and run a B&B in Missouri. Given how hard the chef has worked for the cause — which supplies healthy meals to people in metro Denver suffering from debilitating, often life-threatening illnesses — it was impossible to do anything but wish him well. As this Angel Heart volunteer summed it up:
Jon Emanuel has been a fabulous chef for all of us who volunteer at Project Angel Heart. He could not be any nicer or more humble and makes the kitchen work seamlessly. He will be missed but we are so happy for his next chapter of life!
Then yesterday came the announcement of his surprise replacement: chef Brandon Foster will leave Vesta Dipping Grill to take over. That news had the dining scene buzzing. Says longtime restaurateur Jack Goldsmith:
Congratulations! Brandon Foster, Project Angel Heart will love you and your talent.
But we'll give the last word on this to Foster himself, who posted this on Facebook:
Wow.......thank you everyone for all of the kind words and support you have given me today. I am truly honored to take this new position and everyone's words of encouragement and gratitude mean the world to me. It is bittersweet to be leaving the wonderful crew and family that I get to work with every day at Vesta, but I am also very excited for what the future holds in store.
Nice guys really do finish first. Foster will begin training with Emanuel next week, and take over fully in May. Which means you should be able to say hello to both chefs at Dining Out for Life, Project Angel Heart's big fundraiser on April 28. Find the full list of participating restaurants on the Project Angel Heart website.