Butcher & Bee owner Michael Shemtov is planning to parlay chef Chelsey Conrad’s impending departure from the restaurant into an opportunity to create a position of culinary director, charged with overseeing food service at all of his properties.
“It’s not something we’ve had, so I’m really excited,” Shemtov says.
The new hire will be introduced next week at a media event hosted by The Daily at the Gibbes. Shemtov declined to name the chef, but said he sought out a candidate with extensive management experience, since the person will supervise both locations of The Daily, as well as The Workshop and Butcher & Bee’s baking department.
“He’ll do initially what I imagined Jonathan Ory would do” at Workshop, Shemtov says, such as coordinating the food court tenants’ kitchen schedules and writing recipes for stalls operated by Butcher & Bee.
Conrad, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Charleston, six years ago started at Butcher & Bee as a line cook: Her exposure to The Bee’s style of cooking sparked an abiding interest in Mediterranean cuisine that she’s likely to fan with a trip to Israel.
“Right now the plan is to take a couple months off and do some serious traveling,” says Conrad, whose last day is Saturday.
According to Shemtov, who cooked side-by-side with Conrad when she joined the restaurant, “she’s leaving on the best terms.”
Pastry chef Cynthia Wong this month also announced her departure from Butcher & Bee. Shemtov has not yet started the search for her replacement, but is confident that every job opening represents a chance for the restaurant group “to upgrade and get even better.”