Shakeup At Farmers’ Cabinet (Again)

Yesterday, Farmers’ Cabinet co-owner Matt Scheller–not to be confused with Farmers’ Cabinet co-owner Matt Swartz, whose legal problems continue to pile up (more on that later)–sent an email to Foobooz stating that chef Jason Goodman, who got the job in August after Craig LaBan hit the restaurant with one bell, has been “dismissed,” which I am pretty sure is another way of saying he was fired, terminated, shown the door, etc.

But then, someone emailed at 3:24 a.m. today, saying that no, Goodman actually quit due to “abuse by owners”–though from what I gather, it’s Goodman that had a particularly harsh tongue with staffers.

Whether or not Goodman left of his own volition may be up for debate (and the chef hasn’t returned a call seeking comment), but I can tell you where he’s headed next: Buddakan. This morning, Stephen Starr told me that he’s hired Goodman to take over the kitchen at the Old City stalwart. Goodman previously worked for Starr at Parc, and has also seen the inside of the kitchens at Meritage, Paradigm, Philadelphia Fish & Co., Novelty, and Le Bec. Whew!

As for Farmers’ Cabinet, sous chef Steven Forte, who came to the restaurant at the same time as Goodman and who previously worked at Fork, will try to make the city’s best cocktail bar (no matter what Bon Appetit and Esquire say) a great place to eat.

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  • Andrew

    Love the “staphmealization” of foobooz. keep it up!

  • Rob Thompkins

    So Goodman leaves Starr for a few months and heads back to him? Sounds fishy to me.

  • Another Matt

    Goodman is an absolute nice guy to work with. Matt Schwartz is pretty much a pig standing on his hind legs. Getting drunk, introducing his kitchen staff to strippers, making racist and homophobic comments left and right. One time, he took an African American BOH employee off the cheese station so customers “Didn’t see him when they first walked in.”

  • mattprude

    Quit being a prude another matt, that stuff sounds exaggerated to me. He is a jerk but you seem too holier than thou (p.s. vote Santorum?)

  • It’s Me

    I have worked with Goodman (and other chefs) and he is NOT a pleasure to work with. He chose whom he was kind and rude to. Not sure about Schwartz. but Goodman is definitely homophobic. He doesn’t deserve to work at Buddakan.

  • lobster mushroom

    Here’s a well educated guess: ownership had heard enough of Goodman busting their balls about the, uh, practices they’ve become somewhat infamous for.

    What’s fishy about it? He left a good job for what seemed like a better job, it didn’t work out, so he went back to the original employer (who he was smart enough to leave on the best of terms).

    And, do we really have to bring simpleton politics into a perfectly entertaining and soap operatic discussion about speculative restaurant industry gossip?

  • Willie

    Gee, this really bodes well for their well-planned-out Tiki Bar/Beer Bar/Brewery/whatever on Spring Garden, doesn’t it??

    These guys could run the French Laundry into the ground in 6 months.

  • verysad

    Running a restaurant will almost kill most people. Is your heart really that dark and cold you need to critize these people? Even if deserved it just darkens your own life to be so negative. Show some compassion please.

  • barryg

    It’s not about the food at FC and probably won’t be at the new place(s) either.

    Village Whiskey and Tinto share a kitchen but most patrons have no idea. Multiple concepts is a red flag but it can be done successfully.

  • Victor Fiorillo

    @ Verysad: Yeah, I feel so much compassion for Matt Swartz. He’s been in federal prison. He has numerous judgments against him amounting to several hundreds of thousands of dollars, some that he’s trying to contest as we speak in Philadelphia court, and yet he continues to open businesses. I’m all for hardworking entrepreneurs, but this guy is just plain disreputable.

  • Michael G

    As a commercial landlord I have no idea how these guys convince people to lease to them or how they get a bank to loan them money to do any project.

  • ouch

    I’ll stay on the porch, you big dogs bite too hard when you play

  • Willie

    Unfortunately, the economy sucks and jobs are hard to come by – or else, these guys would never get anyone to work for them, given their rep.

    I’m really sick of the goody-two-shoes people who come on moaning about how negative people are. Personally speaking, I post comments both negative and exceedinly positive. I call them as I see them and there’s no “darkness” in my life because I write a post that says the Matts are lowlifes. Everyone in Philly knows that.

  • Lame

    Damn, Victor Fiorillo: Gossip Queen. I’m not a fan of the Farmer’s Cabinet crew by any means, but this dude either should stop dragging peoples dirty business out and about or get a job at TMZ already. You seem to get way to much of a kick sullying reputations, Vic.

  • Willie

    This not just a gossipy piece – Goodman IS out, he HAS gone to Buddakan and Forte HAS taken over at the FC. Those are real facts I want to read about, there’s a little gossip thrown in but it’s all good.

  • GroJLart

    I never had a problem with the food at FC… more the atmosphere. If you sit in the back section, you need a flashlight to see the damn menu! Also, the acoustics in the place are terrible… if there’s one noisy table it reverberates all over the place.

  • Lame

    Willie, that was in response to Victor’s comment a few up, not the actual article. He, for some reason, felt the need to bring up Swartz’s prison time and court problems which are not related to the story at all. It seemed totally unnecessary even in response to the comment that he was replying to, which said “Even if deserved it just darkens your own life to be so negative.” So Victor decided to be more negative? Very professional.

    Pure gossip.

  • Victor Fiorillo


    You’ll notice that I didn’t include that information–which I previously published on Foobooz–in the original article. I posted it in the comments in response to this comment:

    # verysad Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Running a restaurant will almost kill most people. Is your heart really that dark and cold you need to critize these people? Even if deserved it just darkens your own life to be so negative. Show some compassion please.

  • John Brandt-Lee

    Steve Forte has worked for me many times over the years and is extremely capable of running this kitchen. If the owners can give him the lead way to express his creativity…the city should see some pretty tasty food. Congrats Steve and best of luck!

  • Willie

    Leeway. Leeway. Not “lead way”.

  • John Brandt-Lee

    Thanks Willie appreciate the lesson. You are a real class act!

  • Mark

    I love what “Another Matt” wrote about Matt Swartz. Believe it or not, those comments are completely true. I was there the night he took the African American off the Cheese Counter and he talked mad homophobic things to everyone in the back of the house. Knowing Matt pretty well, he also does bring the strippers of Delilah’s back to the restaurant to eat while his wife and kids are there, and has them dance on the kitchen prep tables after hours (I saw it)

    How the hell is this BBQ/KOREAN Food/Beer Bar/Tiki Lounge/Distillery/Brewery ever going to last, or even start, blows my mind. For being owners of restaurants, or should I say Restaurant, I can never understand how they continue the bullshit they put out. I’m sure that is going to open just like James did in Queens Village. Shout out to the landlord of that building for not letting those asses open more shit.


  • PhoebeCates

    Did I see Phoebe bartending at Bishops Collar this week?

  • Dan

    Let’s settle this – you’re all a bunch of assholes!

  • Bump

    Mixed drinks have gone downhill. Come back Phoebe

  • Common scenes

    Mark, what wife would let there husband bring strippers infront of there kids, let’s be realistic and stick to the facts, I’m not saying he’s a good guy but that’s just down right outlandish

  • the truth

    @common….the type of wife that would help her low life husband steal money from innocent, hardworking victims. And if u think its outlandish…get to know matt and colleen and ull eventually change ur mind….

  • Innocent

    They are scum but so are all their employees. A den of thieves.