Chef Kate Williams, the much-touted chef behind new dining concepts in the G.A.R. Castle, will leave Republic in two weeks, Metro Times reports. The management's decision to bring in a consultant due to "revenue problems" may have played a role.
General manager Lisa Carleton tells the weekly:
"We were not trying to change the restaurant. We were not trying to change what Kate was doing. We were just trying to make it so we could sustain. She is wonderfully creative and she is a wizard with food and flavors and textures and we wish her nothing but the best in what she chooses to do. And we're sorry we that she has decided that she can't do it here with meeting the needs of the owners."
In a statement to Metro Times, Williams, as well as the restaurant's owners and managers confirm that she will stay on and help open Parks & Rec. Republic is expected to remain open after Williams' departure with a similar menu. Eater has reached out to Williams. Stay tuned for updates.
Update, 5/13, 5:16 p.m.: Chef Kate Williams tells Eater she will leave both G.A.R. Castle restaurants once an executive chef has been selected as her replacement, not in two weeks as previously reported.
Williams says her decision to leave the restaurants had nothing to do with revenue problems (she says the article was the first she heard of it) or the consultant (she notes that he's a friend of the restaurants' owners, who's been working with them for two years). Rather, the chef is departing in order to focus on a new project. "I'm choosing to leave and it's on really great terms," she adds. Williams would not elaborate on her new venture at this time, she does confirm that it will keep her in the Detroit area.
In the interim, the chef plans to focus on helping open Parks & Rec. "We've been working on it. We don't have an exact opening date, but it's going to be opening sometime soon hopefully in June," she says. "I want the staff and the restaurants both to be successful." Williams says the restaurant owners are in the process of searching for her replacement right now, but they're still in the early stages of the search.