Last week news came out that Brady Williams, the sous chef at FT-33, would be leaving the restaurant. Williams was replaced by Bradford Hodgkins, who previously worked with chef/owner Matt McCallister at Stephen Pyles. I talked to Williams over email about his departure and he told me it was strictly personal reasons. He's off to NYC.
Other than the Dallas dinning scene losing a young, passionate chef, Williams' departure didn't feel like news to me, so I let the story drop. Now news that a second prominent name, pastry chef and reality TV player Josh Valentine, has left the FT-33 team has me wondering if anything else is going on at the Design District restaurant.
A post to McCallister's Facebook page downplays the departure.
You know what I always love about my job is to have people that work for me that have great talents, get opportunities to grow outside of what I have to offer and move on to do great things for themselves. I am really excited for Brady and Josh on their endeavors. We are fortunate to have a lot of talent in our kitchen and with more come...
Leslie Brenner used this text in her blog post about the switch, which published earlier today. She truncated McCallister's comment, however, for reasons that are pretty clear.
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What I want to know is why food writers in Dallas and nowhere else in the country are so concerned with my sous chef and pastry chef leaving ... who gives a fuck ... They come and they go .. .they were ready to go do other things ... Deal!! Restaurant life 101
Well I wasn't super interested, but I am now. Losing a sous chef is one thing, but losing two thirds of your primary kitchen staff has to be significant, especially since no replacement for Valentine has been named. Lauren Sancton, who handles PR for the restaurant, confirms Valentine's departure, saying he is headed to Oklahoma. She didn't issue a news release as she did for Williams' departure, hinting that Valentine's exit may have been a hasty one.