Brant, for his part, had been offered a good gig, too, as part of the line squad at Wild Catch, Justin Brunson's new sustainably focused fish house that opened yesterday at 1033 East 17th Avenue, in Uptown.
But then Brant got a phone call that gave him pause.
"I originally planned to cook on the line at Wild Catch, but then I got a phone call from Jean-Philippe Failyau asking me if I'd be interested in taking over the chef spot at Park & Co.," recalls Brant. Failyau, owner of Park & Co., the original Park Burger at 1890 South Pearl Street, and a third Park Burger at 2643 West 32nd Avenue, had cooked alongside Brant at Mizuna several years ago, and he and Brant remained good friends -- and Brant liked what Failyau was doing.
"His idea of creating a gastropub-style feel with burgers, simple but great food, and great cocktails has always interested me, and after talking with him, I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity for me," explains Brant, adding that he "plans to keep a lot of the salads and burgers that Park & Co. is known for, but also add a larger variety of appetizers and entrees."
And while the "burger favorites" will remain on the roster, customers, says Brant, "can expect to have a lot more fresh and creative options to choose from." Failyau, he notes, "has developed a great concept -- he already has two great locations that have the best burger in town -- and I hope I can help it continue to grow."
And Brant says he feels right at home in the kitchen. "It's been really nice to be able to work with Jean-Phillipe again after so many years, and it's been fun talking about food and restaurants again on a daily basis."
Brant is slowly making changes to the lineup, and says that he'll continue to make tweaks over the next month.