After announcing the departure of both executive chef Chelsey Conrad
and pastry chef Cynthia Wong
within a span of two weeks, Butcher & Bee is ready to announce their newest hire, Chef Michael Zentner. Zentner will serve as Executive Chef at Butcher & Bee and will assume the newly-created role of culinary director for the local B&B empire, overseeing Butcher & Bee, The Daily, The Daily at The Gibbes, and Workshop. Phew.
Zentner is a 2001 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America; a native of Newport, RI and hails from Boston, MA, where he most recently held the position of Culinary Director at the Aquitaine Group, overseeing eight restaurants.
"Chef Zentner brings over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to his new role and looks forward to incorporating his unique perspective with Butcher & Bee's classic take on 'Honest to Goodness' service and food," said the B&B team in a press release. "Feeling drawn to warmer weather and a slower pace of life in the South, he is most excited to work with Southern ingredients and the abundance of farms and purveyors surrounding Charleston."
According to the chef's Instagram
, it looks like he was in the Holy City last Memorial Day weekend, making stops at Lewis Barbecue and Chez Nous. So we know he at least ate well. In 2016, Boston Athenæum
described the soon to be mezze master thusly: "[Zentner]confesses he grew up wanting a career in cooking. As a second grader in elementary school, he brought his own hot dogs for the class, griddling them on his teacher’s travel-size flat top. Twenty years later, the hot dogs paid off and Zentner moved to Sun Valley Idaho and became the youngest chef to run a Relais et Chateaux property." No word on whether Zentner still carries a personal hot dog supply these days.