Chef Flees Farmer’s Daughter for The Big City But Promises “A Flawless Transition”

Just when we started hearing some things about the Farmer’s Daughter at Normandy Farm in Whitpain Township (former site of a restaurant from the missing-in-action Jim Coleman, who disappeared from there, WHYY’s Chef’s Table, and World Cafe Live all in 2010) that made us actually consider making the awful drive up to that part of Montgomery County, we find out that Corey Fair, the bull-riding Texas-born chef that started to turn things around for the property, is gone.

Although the original tip that came in at the end of last week suggested that this was a sudden departure (to the effect of: “something happened last night, and the chef is gone”), both Fair (pictured) and the folks behind the so corporately named Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center say that’s not the case.

Fair claims that he’s been working on the concept since prior to Coleman’s exit and that his contract to do so expired at the end of last week. Plus, he says, “I may have been born in Texas, but I’m an urban boy at heart. And the city is where I need to be.”

The chef is currently shopping for downtown locations for three new concepts. One is tentatively called Sparrow and will feature “modern farm cooking”, since “the whole ‘farm-to-table’ thing has become so overused,” he explains. Guerrilla Burger is a QSR idea (which apparently means Quick Service Restaurant in restaurateur lingo) that Fair likens to “Five Guys on steroids but with all Pennsylvania beef and produce and duck fat fries, of course.” And, because we need another place to drink, Whiskey Rebellion: “It will be a gritty, seedy throwback bar with farm-to-glass cocktails made with old school techniques and served with local cheeses and charcuterie.”

Fair says he hopes to have Sparrow and Guerrilla Burger up and running this year, but he’s still looking for real estate and investors, so we’ll have to wait and see about that. Normandy has promoted from within with former sous chef Mtele “Abu” Abubakar taking the top spot at Farmer’s Daughter. “I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do it,” says Fair of the Kenya native. “I think it will be a flawless transition.”

UPDATE: In a true putting-the-cart-before-the-horse move, Fair just posted menus for Sparrow on the yet-to-exist restaurant’s website,