The Happy Cooking (fka Little Wisco) team sends word this evening that Michael Toscano, the executive chef behind Perla, Montmartre, and Jeffrey's Grocery, is leaving New York City to move to Charleston, South Carolina in the new year. Toscano joined Gabe Stulman's West Village restaurant empire when he signed on as opening chef at Perla, after working at the Eataly restaurant Manzo. Just last year he took the reins as chef and co-owner at Montmartre and gave the menu a complete French overhaul, and has consistently turned out excellent food on all fronts. For what it's worth, Jeremiah Tower recently described him as "a rising star who has already risen."
Toscano will step down from all the restaurants in January. At Perla, he'll be replaced by Perla's chef de cuisine Jack Harris, who has worked with Toscano for seven years, since before his Perla days. Patrick McGrath, who's currently the chef de cuisine at Jeffrey's Grocery, will take over at Montmartre, and Ryan Aldrich, a vet of The Harrison and Bouley is taking the helm at Jeffrey's Grocery. No word on what, if anything, Toscano has planned for Charleston.