As the local restaurant community continued to grapple with McCrady’s severing ties with the chef best known beyond the city, The Ordinary announced Friday the departure of a chef highly regarded by those in Charleston.
Chef de cuisine Carlton “Vandy” Vanderwerker, who peers credit with creating many of Charleston’s most accomplished dishes, is leaving to pursue “new opportunities,” according to a statement from restaurateurs Mike Lata and Adam Nemirow. Vanderwerker joined the company a decade ago as a cook at FIG.
In a prepared statement, Lata said, "I’ve had the pleasure of watching Vandy progress over the last 10 years and I have no doubt that wherever his next chapter takes him, he will exercise the full potential of his creativity, work ethic and passion. His enthusiasm for our craft is infectious and will be missed. It is never easy to lose a long-tenured employee, and Vandy’s contribution to the success of The Ordinary cannot be measured."
Vanderwarker started his career in New York City working at such restaurants as Per Se and Craftbar before relocating to Charleston and taking a position in the kitchen at FIG in 2008.
In the press release, Vanderwarker said “Chef Lata and Adam taught me the business and culinary sense that I will have for the rest of my life, and I am grateful to them for the opportunities to work together, learn and grow. I look forward to the next chapter and appreciate the support from the team and city of Charleston."
Lata will continue to run the kitchen at The Ordinary and oversee the menu, adding, "With change comes the opportunity to evolve, and that has been the core value of our kitchens from the very first day at FIG, fifteen years ago."
Vanderwarker declined to comment any further, but promised to provide an update when he is ready to announce what he's up to next.
Noted chef Sean Brock this week said he is cutting ties with McCrady’s, McCrady’s Tavern and Minero to concentrate on Nashville.