Minutes ago, chef Neil Ferguson resigned his post at Allen & Delancey, the restaurant he opened in fall 2007 and for which he then earned an unlikely two stars. What's more interesting than the departure is that he's leaving Allen & Delancey to take the executive chef gig at the Soho House, the Meatpacking District private club—the venue in these parts that comes closest as any to serving an entire menu of inedible food. Huge get for the club; interesting detour for Ferguson, who is going to need to formulate a strategy for staying relevant at a place not open to the public. For the sake of comparison on the new gig, the chef at neighboring private club Norwood is relative amateur Josie Malave, who got the gig there via Top Chef fame.
Ferguson is a former Gordon Ramsay lieutenant, but was fired approximately four minutes after he could get no more than a Bruni-deuce at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in New York. His landing at and legitimizing the sexy downtown spot was a subsequent victory for him. As for why the chef would be leaving now, people who know insist that Ferguson exited on his own accord. He has cited 'moral and personal reasons' to friends (see full text below).
· Allen & Delancey [~E~]
Update: Here is the email the chef circulated to friends:
I am writing to let you know that I have tendered my resignation from my current role of Executive Chef of Monteverde at Oldstone Manor and Allen & Delancey in the LES.
I have strong principles and thoughts on how a restaurant should operate and conduct itself,at every level. Unfortunately those principles have been bought into question. I am leaving for both moral and personal reasons.
I hope you understand and respect my decision.
Thankyou for your support,
I hope I have the chance to cook for you again,further down the road.
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