The executive chef of Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s game-changing, Michelin-starred restaurant The Nomad is leaving to embark on a “solo adventure.” James Kent started as the executive chef of the restaurant back in 2013, but he’s been working with Humm for nearly a decade. Under his tenure, the chic hotel restaurant has maintained its place in the city as one of the most consistently great restaurants in the city. The New York-raised chef previously worked as the chef de cuisine at Eleven Madison Park and is also apparently a graffiti artist.
In a heartfelt goodbye on Instagram, Humm wrote that the two of them were “like long lost brothers.” “Chef, I wish you massive success on your next big solo adventure and thank you for years of loyalty, laughter and delicious food!” the caption says.
I'm not sure where the years went... I remember @jkentnyc when he was just a punk kid trying to make it nice in an incredibly rough and competitive industry. We teamed up like long lost brothers and have been seamlessly working side by side for 10 years. Chef James executed my vision every single day @thenomadhotel and before that as Chef de Cuisine at #elevenmadisonpark. Now, I understand how difficult that can be -- not only because I have my own high standards, but because he is a fiercely independent, brilliant chef in his own right. But it wasn't always work. In a sense, we grew up together. New York City is James' hometown and he showed me how to navigate everyday life here. He's an incredible father. A devoted husband. A leader. A man with a heart of gold that has influenced my way of thinking from the start. He's also an incredible friend. Chef, I wish you massive success on your next big solo adventure and thank you for years of loyalty, laughter and delicious food! #makeitnice
The EMP team did not have additional comment. Kent did not immediately respond to requests for more details, though he posted this thank you to the EMP team on Instagram.
Today marks the end on an extremely important chapter in my life. I am leaving the Make It Nice family to forge my own path. It was 10 years ago that I walked into Eleven Madison, drawn to work with a young talented chef, @danielhumm and @wguidara thank you for the love, trust and support over the past decade. I have learned so much from the two of you, the intensity and passion that you guys embody is something I will always try to live up to. What I will take from the past 10 years most is our true friendship, you are my family. I can't believe we made it as far as we have. I promise to make you guys proud. #makeitnice
Stay tuned for more information — word is that it’s in a high profile space. A solo project from Kent could end up being a big deal for the fine dining world. At the every least, it already has the endorsement of Humm.