Nate Whiting and Juliet (copy)

Chef Nate Whiting departs Juliet restaurant. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

It's ironic, says Nate Whiting, that his former employer, 492, closed the same day he announced his departure from Juliet. But his news is far more positive. He's just moving on to new challenges, he says.

What those challenges are, he's yet to figure out. He says he just needed to get out of the kitchen in order to find time to let the next path unfold.

Greg Kurtzman, who has worked with Whiting at both Juliet and 492, takes over as executive chef. He could not be reached for comment.  

Whiting started his career in the Charleston area as a Johnson & Wales University student. By the time he was 30, he became executive chef at Woodlands Inn, the now-closed five-star and five-diamond dining room in Summerville. He left there for Tristan on the Market, where he focused on ambitious modernist cuisine.

In 2014, Relish Dining Group closed Tristan but kept Whiting, who helped conceptualize 492, which opened in a newly renovated space on King Street. They parted ways a year later. On Sunday, 492 shut down for good after its final brunch service.

For Whiting, 492's closure was a shocking coincidence. "It's freaking ironic," he says. "But I wish them all the best. They've always been good to me."

Juliet, where Whiting was hired in 2017, was a really good experience, he says. "And some of the best food I’ve ever cooked."

Whiting does not have concrete plans for what's next, but jokes that he's open to suggestions. "I’m still gonna be here. I'm not moving or anything. I love this town and this community, it’s awesome and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Follow Stephanie Barna on Twitter @stefbarna.