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California Trailblazer Jeremiah Tower Comes Out of Retirement to Take Over Tavern on the Green

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The veteran of Chez Panisse and Stars is taking the helm at the iconic Central Park restaurant, which has been chef-less since August and struggling since it reopened.

Daniel Krieger

Tavern on the Green has found its new chef. After chef Katy Sparks left the restaurant in August trailing a string of terrible reviews, owners Jim Caiola and David Salama (who reopened the iconic restaurant to much fanfare last April) searched through a battery of chefs. Rather than anoint a rising talent, they have signed a contract with star chef Jeremiah Tower, who first rose to fame in the early 80s. Tower worked with Alice Waters at Berkeley's Chez Panisse before becoming her partner there, and then went on to open Stars in San Francisco.

According to a representative for Tavern, Chef Tower will gradually introduce his own dishes, and is expected to debut his own menu in the new year. As the Times reports, he has been living in retirement in the Yucatan, "where he has been renovating old houses and happily scuba diving." He apparently just arrived in the city on Friday, wielding a list of about 250 dishes he's proposing for the menu revamp, and is already in the kitchen working. He plans to relax the scene at restaurant, adding things like french fries and a lobster roll to the menu, and toning down the formality in the dining room.

Tavern on The Green

67th St. Central Park West, New York, NY 10023 212-877-TOTG Visit Website