One of Detroit's hottest restaurants Standby is undergoing a major evolution in its kitchens this week. The Detroit Free Press had the first word on Sunday evening that the Belt Alley bar and restaurant has ousted chef Brendon Edwards. The shakeup appears to be the result of a disagreement over the business. Detroit Delhi chefs Jesse Knott, also known as "Corktown Jesse," and Lindsay Salminen are taking his place as co-executive chefs.
In a text to Mark Kurlyandchik, Edwards says, "I put my heart, soul, and countless hours into Standby," and "I took great pride in the accomplishments we achieved and was proud of the team behind us. Standby and the team behind it will inevitably be successful in whatever they do. As for me I will continue to be unwavering in my approach and will remain in Detroit for the foreseen future with new projects already on the horizon." Standby's partner/bar manager Joe Robinson further explained the leadership change in a statement:
Over the course of the last year, Brendon was an integral part of Standby, showcasing a high level of knowledge and dedication to his craft that helped set the tone for our success. Though this was a difficult decision, over time differences in direction and approach to the future of our business became clear, signaling an appropriate time to part ways. We are confident Standby's future is bright and are excited about the possibilities. We wish Brendon all the best in his next endeavor.
How the chef change will impact Standby's food remains to be seen. The menu is expected to undergo updates throughout the week. Eater is reaching out for more information.
Edward's exit is a big surprise. The chef, who left the first iteration of Antietam with Joe Robinson in 2014, has received largely positive reviews for his food, which integrated Mediterranean and Japanese flavors with techniques that complemented the modern cocktail bar. Standby took the number three spot on the Free Press's Best New Restaurants list this year, and, on the bar side, cocktail maven Dorothy Doughty was recently named a semifinalist for Eater Young Guns 2016. The remaining partners are expected to open a neighboring seasonal bar concept, The Skip, within the next several weeks.