As upcoming chicken and mollusk depot Leon's Oyster Shop inches closer to opening (no official date, yet), eager eaters learn more about the first project from restaurateurs Tim Mink and Brooks Reitz. Today, they release information on their head chef.
Charleston native Ari Kolender will lead the kitchen at Leon's. Both Kolender and Reitz worked at oyster emporium The Ordinary and decided they wanted to continue to work together after they left the restaurant. Kolender was the sous chef under Mike Lata when the James Beard Foundation nominated The Ordinary for "Best New Restaurant."
Kolender has worked in restaurants since he was 14 and was formally trained at Le Cordon Bleu School for Culinary Arts in Los Angeles. His love of seafood started with his first job after graduation, at chef Michael Cimarusti's Providence, a Michelin star eatery focused on aquatic life.
Kolender has been with the Leon's crew for the past several months, helping to develop the dishes, hire staff, and everything else involved with opening a new place. Watch here to see if they slip us a copy of the menu.
· All Leon's Oyster Shop [-ECHS-]
· All The Ordinary Coverage [-ECHS-]
· All Providence Coverage [-ELA-]