Justin Smillie, the executive chef of Il Buco Alimentari, is leaving the restaurant to pursue a new project without restaurateur Donna Lennard. With Smillie in the kitchen, the restaurant earned raves from many of the big critics, including Pete Wells, who awarded the restaurant three stars.
From a statement issued by the Il Buco team this afternoon:
Justin has been an important part of the il Buco Alimentari story, working closely with Donna to make the restaurant the truly special and beloved place it is — and we wish him all the best in this next phase of his career. His amazing team of talented chefs will continue in our kitchen, along with salumi "maestro" Christopher Lee, who currently oversees the Alimentari market.The Alimentari team has not named a successor, but the owners are talking with a few chefs right now. Lennard has a knack for discovering talent — chef-of-the-moment Ignacio Mattos worked at the original Il Buco for a number of years, as did Buvette's Jody Willams. So, expect either a big name or a promising up-and-comer to fill this position. Smillie will be in the kitchen through mid June, so you still have a few more weeks to sample his excellent modern Italian fare.
· All Coverage of Il Buco Alimentari [~ENY~]