A year and a half after revamping Chelsea's iconic Empire Diner, Amanda Freitag is stepping away from the kitchen. Although the Chopped star is still involved with the restaurant as part of its original ownership team, Freitag is no longer working as its executive chef. She decided to leave the kitchen to focus on TV work and the publication of her first book, The Chef Next Door, which hits stands this September.
Empire Diner marked Freitag's return to the kitchen after three and a half years as one of New York's hottest free agents. The restaurant got generally favorable reviews after it opened in winter 2014, although it never got the full star treatment from Pete Wells. The team has not yet announced her replacement in the kitchen.