Chef Grant van Gameren, one half of the duo behind the mega-successful Black Hoof restaurant that many credit for bringing offal to the masses, announced that he is “no longer affiliated with the Black Hoof” via Twitter today.
The split is described as “amicable“ and chef de cuisine Brandon Olsen will be promoted as head chef.
More details to follow.
Update (4:20 p.m.): We spoke with Jen Agg, now the sole owner of the Hoof empire, who emphasized it was a mutual split.
“This was a choice that we made together for a while now,” she said. “We wanted to go in different directions. Nothing is going to be really changing at the Hoof. We just had a different vision. There’s no juicy thing here. It’s obvious at some point that people go in different ways and don’t want to work together. It’s not because of some nasty, awful thing happening.
“There’s always an element of sadness to these things. At the same time, we live seconds from each other so there’s no room for animosity in a neighbourhood this small. We had our differences over the years and we resolved things, including this. It’s a non-messy divorce.”
The Black Hoof will be running as usual, she said. “There are three cooks in the kitchen just like always. There is no shortage of people.”
As for BHCO, the tasting-menu restaurant concept slated to open next year, Agg says the space—located across the street from The Black Hoof—will continue to serve as her cocktail bar.
“I have no plans to move the Cocktail Bar. It’s a beautiful space and I always wanted to have a bar there,” she said. “I’m really happy with what it is.”
Of course, it’s not unusual in the restaurant industry for partners to split or chefs to move elsewhere. But in this case, it’s happened at the one restaurant in the city that’s perpetually packed.
“The Hoof has a nice tradition of taking young chefs and having them learn and go off to do their own thing,” Agg said. “That’s something we want to keep up; to have a place where people can learn how to make charcuterie and grow as a chef.”