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Ed Lee's Official Departure

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TimT

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Ed Lee's Official Departure

by TimT » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:57 am

Thoughts on his move to Washington, D.C?

Will he sell his restaurants to his sous chefs or just run them remotely, which honestly speaking seems to have been happening for awhile already.
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Mark R.

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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Mark R. » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:27 pm

My bet is that he will still maintain ownership of them. He might bring in a managing partner to run them on a regular basis however.
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Robin Garr » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:15 pm

I can't speak to 610, but I think he's been pretty open about attributing Milkwood to the folks who work in the kitchen there.
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Ron Johnson

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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Ron Johnson » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:57 am

I wonder if Louisville wasn't "big" enough for him.

This is why I really admire chefs like Frank Stitt. He opened Highlands in Birmingham, AL in 1982 and it took him 35 years and nine nominations before he won his Beard award. But, he was always dedicated to his place. Same can be said for John Currence in Oxford, Mississippi, and many others in smaller cities and towns around the country.

I think Dean Corbett and Kathy Cary deserve a lot more credit than they receive around town . . . they weren't on a reality TV show, but they have been Louisville all-star chefs for decades.
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Jeff Cavanaugh » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:16 pm

Is there a story on this somewhere?
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Robin Garr » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:20 pm

Looks like it was a bigger story in DC and NYC. WashPo in February ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/foo ... a51068c3ae

And the NY Times last week (!) ...
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/dini ... .html?_r=0

I'm not sure why this hasn't been a bigger story locally. He's definitely PR-focused and makes most of his statements through a DC-based PR firm for years. I expect that firm placed the story in national media and didn't show it to Louisville.

But you're right, it's a little surprising that no one (even me! :shock: ) has done anything with it. I think Insider did a short piece following the WashPo report but accepted his word that he's not really moving, just adding another location, but that's all I can find in Teh Google.
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Robin Garr » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:22 pm

Fascinating quotes in the NYT story:

So it was only natural that Mr. Lee, 45, was worried about leaving Louisville. (For a long time, he told interviewers that he was splitting his time between the two cities.) But after nearly 15 years, he had maxed out.

Mr. Lee has two restaurants there, the fine dining 610 Magnolia and the more casual MilkWood, along with a soon-to-open whiskey and burger bar — and an outsize presence in the Derby City, population: 620,000. “I think, and you can put this on the record, people are a little sick of me in Louisville,” he said.
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Robin Garr » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:27 pm

Another interesting NYT quote. Your thoughts?

There is also an emphasis on seafood (at his Succotash in DC), which he didn’t use often in landlocked Louisville.
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by SilvioM » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:57 pm

I also saw it in the Times -- a fairly decent sized article in the food section last week -- instead of here. I only know him as a local chef, not a celebrity, which I guess he is given the coverage that he's getting. Whatever the case, if he feels that he has creatively "maxed out", I certainly don't begrudge him for moving on and wish him the best.
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Jeff Cavanaugh » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:37 am

Interesting. I hadn't heard about it at all.

I'd been assuming the 4th St Live burger bar project was dead because there hadn't been any work done on it in months, but just last week I walked by and there were workers in there doing something. So maybe it will actually happen.
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Stephen D » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:23 pm

I've spent some time with Ed- He's a pretty easy guy to figure out.

a) He'd rather you call him 'Ed.' The formal term 'Chef' makes him uncomfortable. He's a great cook that was in the right place- the right time. He had to grow into where he is now.

b)The move to DC is scary. He had to think about this for a while. All of his best friends are here. He's always going to be a Louisvillian and He will do us justice there.

c) His Restaurants here purr like kittens. He has great people that will look out after the store. And become something more than what He ever imagined.

Why not try to do something fantastic?
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Derrick Dones » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:33 pm

Can "something fantastic" not be done locally? DD
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Re: Ed Lee's Official Departure

by Steve Shade » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:13 pm

Derrick Dones wrote:Can "something fantastic" not be done locally? DD


Sure it can. However, Louisville is triple A. Washington is the majors. Really no difference between baseball and food.
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