Here's the thing, says Leigh Jones: "I want a chef that has kitchen manager capabilities, and that's not Brendon."
Last Thursday, during a routine manager's meeting, Jones sat down with Brendon Doyle, who'd been running the line at Jonesy's EatBar, 400 East 20th Avenue, for the past eleven months, and the result of that conversation left Doyle without a kitchen -- or a job. "I was definitely shocked to find out that I didn't have a job any longer, but I completely understand where Leigh's coming from," confesses Doyle. "The way that I wanted to run the kitchen wasn't the same as how Leigh wanted me to run the kitchen, so on Friday, I packed up my knives and left."
For her part, Jones admits Doyle is a "spectacular chef with a ton of talent," but their philosophies, she notes, are divergent. "I want to run a collaborative restaurant, and I think that Brendon is more traditional, in that he has his own way of doing things. Unfortunately, our visions don't match, and I don't think this environment was the best place for him," explains Jones, who opened her gastropub in 2008.
She's already hired a new executive chef, Beau Simmons, who was formerly Doyle's sous chef and also did time at 240 Union and Ocean (now Earl's Cherry Creek), where he worked alongside Troy Guard. the exec chef/owner of TAG (and soon, TAG | RAW BAR) in Larimer Square. "Beau is kind of an unknown, so this is really a chance for him to shine," says Jones. "He's full of energy, passion and excitement, and I think this will be really fun for him."
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Doyle, on the other hand, is weighing his options. "While there were ups and downs at Jonesy's, I'm excited to move on and foster my growth," he tells me. "At some point I'd love to have my own place, but right now I'm just making myself available for what I hope are some good opportunities. I'm ambitious and I want to do more."