The acclaimed and ever-so-busy Black Hoof (928 Dundas St. W. at Bellwoods) is undergoing a change-of-the guard as owner Jen Agg announced on the restaurant’s blog this morning that chef Brandon Olsen will be leaving the restaurant to do some travelling. In his place will be chef Jesse Grasso, most recently of Vancouver’s La Quercia.
The list of top-notch chefs, cooks, and managers that have previously worked at the Hoof include Geoff Hopgood of Hopgood’s Foodliner, Colin Tooke and Ian McGrenaghan of Grand Electric, Guy Rawlings, and, of course, Grant van Gameren of Enoteca Sociale and the upcoming Crown Cooks.
Update, October 16, 1:20 p.m.: Agg says she first met Grasso last year during a trip to Vancouver. While eating at La Quercia, Grasso found out she was there and cooked a special menu of dishes like lamb chops, pasta, and tongues especially for her.
“We ended up hanging out and getting along,” Agg says, who’s actually on her way to Montreal with Grasso to brainstorm new ideas. “I knew I wanted to work with him in one way or another… I always knew Brandon’s time here was finite so when that time came I called Jesse and asked if he wanted to run the kitchen at the Hoof.”
He accepted the position at the end of August and has been at The Hoof for the past week. Olsen’s last day will be Oct. 29. After that, Grasso will take over. —Karon Liu