While the scheduling snafus for the Top Chef event at the annual wine and food festival were nightmarish, the shuffling that went down over at Oak last fall was way more interesting. First, in September, Chef Brett McKee split with Oak Steakhouse in order to focus on his new brand, the Roadside Kitchen. It seemed like an abrupt about-face, especially in light of the big plans we'd heard just a few months earlier from McKee and his partner at Oak, Steve Palmer. By October, Palmer seemed to have recovered from McKee's departure, announcing that his longtime friend John Zucker of Cru Cafe and Catering would come on board as executive chef and partner. Whoops. The announcement ended up being a bit premature. In November, another announcement was sent out, this one telling us that Zucker was out and Jeremiah Bacon of Carolina's was in. Since then, Bacon has indeed taken over at Oak, and the Broad Street steakhouse is humming right along, having never missed a beat. The combination of Palmer and Bacon looks to be a good one and we can only imagine big plans for the future with these two.
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