In a move that surprised precisely no one, Matt Moon–opening chef at the St. James–has been let go by partners Michael Schulson and Rob Wasserman. This move follows a couple of knee-capping reviews (a no-bell review from Craig Laban and a scathing zero-star review from Philly mag’s own Trey Popp), but according to Schulson, “There have been changes in the works for about a month.”
And showing the chef the door? That wasn’t the start of the bloodletting.
Michael Lehane, the GM who took over the floor at the St. James about 5 weeks after opening, was let go a couple weeks back and has since been replaced by Michael Wirzberger, who Schulson brought in from Sampan, one of his other restaurants. And there was a sous chef booted from the kitchen as well, a position that has now been filled by Osteria/Morimoto veteran Dave Clarke.
“He and I are going to make this right,” Schulson told me when I got him on the phone earlier today. And considering I reached him in the kitchen at St. James–where he says he is now taking over chef’s duties until a replacement can be found for Moon–he’s taking the reorganization very personally. “We just need to get [the St. James] to where I want it to be.”
Saints and Sinners [Trey Popp's review of the St. James]
St. James [Official]