Matt Moon Out At the St. James


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GM who took over the floor at the St. James about 5 weeks after opening, was let go a couple weeks back and has since been replaced by Michael Wirzberger, who Schulson brought in from Sampan, one of his other restaurants.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]

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  • JA

    Yeah, I’m sure Trey’s review held a lot of sway!

    • JAisamoron

      Shuttup moron.

  • wendyrose

    please change that boring menu too!

  • Arlene

    The menu is awful too! And your cookies are not good enough to be “shut up” offers to patrons who have complained about the food, service and noise. Hoping all improves as we have few decent Main Line restaurant choices.

  • Terry G.

    Trey Popp’s review was talking about food back in December, “There was a properly cooked salmon fillet (sauced, in December, with pesto)” So, why wait this long to post the review? After Craig Laban’s review in January, the owners said that they already cleaned house with new staff. It is now March. If they really thought this chef guy was the problem, should he be booted then? I think the review from Trey Popp should be read with a hint of skepticism since it is talking about food and service that done BEFORE they clean house in January/February time. That’s just my opinion.

  • Ouichef

    This certainly isn’t the tip of the iceberg for the firings at Saint James. At least three GMs, various sous, now exec chefs, countless BOH and FOH dismissed because they can’t seem to get their shit together? Please. Hopefully their customers aren’t as dumb as their owners. Fire as many people as you want, but the problem is not their employees. Bottom line: want a stable job? Stay the f*ck out of Ardmore!

  • Vivian K

    You may want to check your references, I have read several things in this article that are 100% false.