Food News

Amos Watts Leaving, Chef William Mack Assumes Lead Role at Old Major

Amos Watts is out and William Mack is in at Old Major.
Amos Watts is out and William Mack is in at Old Major. Westword
Chef Amos Watts joined Justin Brunson's Old Major team in January 2016, after opening Acorn in 2013 with owners Steve Redzikowski and Bryan Dayton. Watts recently departed Old Major for a new gig, so Brunson is promoting some young blood at his four-year-old LoHi eatery.

William Mack, who was hired eighteen months ago as executive sous-chef, has been tapped as the new chef de cuisine. And back in the kitchen as executive sous-chef is Nohe Weir-Villatoro, who had just moved from Old Major earlier this year to assume the lead role at Brunson's Lowry restaurant, Masterpiece Kitchen, when the place was closed because of a fire on April 1. (It has yet to reopen.)

Mack is a Denver native and graduate of the University of Denver who recently returned to Colorado after cooking at Spice Market and Michelin-starred Betony in New York City. Weir-Villatoro worked as an executive chef in Asheville, North Carolina, before coming to Denver. He had recently revamped the menu at Masterpiece Kitchen from burgers and fries to an upscale roster of small plates before the fire put him out of a job there.

Both chefs are under thirty. "These guys really push each other to be creative and thoughtful leaders," Brunson notes. "Just as much as I look forward to watching their growth as I continue mentoring them, I can’t wait to see their fresh ideas inspire an already top-tier menu."

Old Major has been both a breeding ground and a stopping point for top kitchen talent in Denver. Before Watts's stint, the chef de cuisine was Kona Bobek, who is now in charge of chef/restaurateur Clint Wangsnes's second Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery in Lowry.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation