The news comes on the heels of Geoff Rhyne, chef de cuisine of The Ordinary’s announcement on Wednesday that he’s joining Brooks Reitz’ new restaurant Leon’s as sous chef. That said, Chef Mike Lata tells us the two events are merely coincidental. As for Stanhope’s rise to his new role, Lata says it’s been a long time coming.
“Jason’s talent, leadership, and sensibilities, fire up everyone around him with his passion, and he needs to get credit for it. I guide him as a mentor and a business owner, but day to day he’s the one deciding how things go. In many ways he’s on his own and deserves the recognition for it,” says Lata.
Joining Stanhope in a month will be pastry chef Melanie Durant, formerly of Empire State South.
“There again, we’re a young company, and we’re growing. And we really need to take it to the next level,” says Lata about Durant’s arrival. “For the past year Jason has been splitting his time between pastry and cuisine.” With Durant on board Lata says Stanhope will have time to focus all his efforts on cuisine.
As for Lata, while he continues to run both restaurants with his business partner Adam Nemirow, he’ll be heading back into the kitchen with Rhyne’s departure. And in the meantime, FIG has a third renovation slated for September. More proof that Charleston’s culinary scene continues to look good for one of the city’s leading chefs.
You heard it here first, Jason Stanhope has just been named executive chef of FIG.