Lon Symensma, longtime Buddakan executive chef and strong contender for the title of New York's Hottest chef, is leaving the behemoth Meatpacking District restaurant at the end of the month. Says a tipster, "Apparently they are bringing in consulting chef from Hakkasan Miami to redo the food and the Lon decided not to be part of it." Symensma confirms to Eater that he's moving on:
I am going to be traveling extensively throughout Southeast Asia. A very good friend of mine just wrote a James Beard Award winning book called Southeast Asian Flavors. I will be going with him in an effort to do research and development for my own restaurant concept. When I return I will be opening my own place.This is potentially good news for those who like Symensma's cooking but don't want to deal with that ginormous space, the MePa nabe, or the SATC-loving crowds. Symensma has said when he opens his own place it will be "Southeast Asian with some sort of French colonial influence."
· Q&A With Buddakan's Lon Symensma [~ENY~]