Craft Work has revealed its choice to replace chef Matt Dalton who recently left after two years with the restaurant. Craft Work's owner announces in a statement today that Aaron Solley will be taking over as executive chef and rolling out a revamped menu over the next several weeks.
"We've developed a great vibe and an eclectic customer base, and we're not going to lose that."
Under his leadership, Solley plans to introduce a number of new menu items with an intensified focus on local, seasonal, and ethical ingredients. The restaurant plans to increase its relationships with Acre and Fisheye Farms in Detroit. It's also struck an exclusive partnership with Food Shed Exchange, a local meat and fish supplier. Craft Work's new menu is expected to feature in-house curing and smoked meats including bacon, as well as seafood dishes and handmade pasta. In addition to its new American flavors, the restaurant's menu will also see some French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Some house favorites — namely fried chicken and chicken tempura salad — will remain on the bill of fare.
"We opened our doors two and half years ago and it's time to fine-tune what we have," says owner Hugh Yaro. "The restaurant scene in Detroit is really amazing right now, and we want to be recognized as one of the best. We've developed a great vibe and an eclectic customer base, and we're not going to lose that. Our new menu better reflects what we stand for and helps us live up to our full potential."
Solley worked in a number of kitchens including Opus One, Papa Joe's Gourmet Market, Morel's, and Tribute under Takashi Yagihashi. For the past seven years he's has been in Portland, Oregon, where he was chef and co-owner of the James John Cafe.
Craft Work has also hired a new sous chef. Stephen Schmidt is a Metro Detroit cook who has worked in the area for the past 11 years, starting at the Rattlesnake Club at age 17. Stay tuned for more updates.