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Jonathan Waxman Plans New Restaurant with Former Freemans/Isa Chefs

Preston Madson and Ginger Pierce just left their jobs with Taavo Somer to work on Waxman's second new project in NYC this year.

Jonathan Waxman
Jonathan Waxman
Daniel Krieger

Last week, chefs Preston Madson and Ginger Pierce spent their last shift in the kitchen at Freemans and Isa, respectively, and said goodbye to Taavo Somer's restaurant group to embark on their own project. It was a big move for the husband-and-wife duo, who have both spent many years working for Somer, as executive chefs at those restaurants and his now-shuttered Peels. Today, Madson fills Eater in on that new project, and it really is a big one.

Madson and Pierce have teamed up with New York's longtime champion of California cuisine, Barbuto chef Jonathan Waxman, to open a restaurant with his Waxstone Group. The pairing makes sense, especially since this will be a reunion of sorts for the three chefs – the couple worked together under Waxman at Barbuto when they first arrived in New York from the Bay Area.

Though Waxman has just recently started to expand his empire, opening both Montecito with Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman in Toronto and Adele's in Nashville last summer, plus Bajo Sexto in Nashville just a couple months ago, this new restaurant will be in New York City. There's not much more detail than that at the moment – Madson says that "details are still in development" – but this is the second restaurant Waxman plans to open in the next year or so in New York. The first of those, his remake of his 80s classic Jams, should open at the 1 Hotel Central Park in the next month or so. Meanwhile, he also must be gearing up to relocate Barbuto some time in the near future, now that the building has been sold.