We knew something was abuzz last week when Chef Bee from Khong River House was alluding to his departure and after that one was confirmed with Bee heading to Oishi Thai, we now hear that Jeff McInnis has fled the coop and left Yardbird. We contacted McInnis and reps for Yardbird’s parent company 50 Eggs. Stay tuned for the official words.
In the meantime, The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema reports that Baltimore’s Clayton Miller of Wit & Wisdon has assumed the position of 50 Eggs’ executive chef. “A great opportunity came around,” says Miller, who recently accepted a job with the restaurant group 50 Eggs, Inc., a collection of dining venues that includes the well-received Yardbird in Miami Beach. Miller will serve in the newly created position of executive chef and culinary director for the company,” Sietsema writes.
50 Eggs’ official statement says “We’re thrilled to have Chef Clay Miller on board,” says CEO and Founder John Kunkel. “Clay is a rare culinary talent, and as Yardbird enters its third year of business, he is precisely the type of chef that will take our success to the next level.”
Miller replaces Chef Jeff McInnis, who is leaving Yardbird for personal reasons. “We’re a closeknit family here at Yardbird, so it’s always sad to say goodbye. We respect Chef McInnis’s privacy, and thank him for his hard work over the last three years.”
A new menu will debut in August.
Outside of official sources, we hear that neither Bee’s nor McInnis’s departures have been amicable. Bee is allegedly involved in some sort of mediation against Kunkel and McInnis, a source says, “has been unhappy ever since [former Top Chef contestant] Kenny Gilbert was hired [and subsequently left shortly thereafter] as corporate chef.” Some suspect McInnis has his eye on the Big Apple.
In other restaurant news, Bernie Matz’s LA Cafe is now closed.