Since 2003 chef Kelly Fletcher has been heading up the kitchen at Tempe's House of Tricks, the romantic restaurant located just off Mill Avenue. He took the reins after Cullen Campbell, now of Crudo, left the restaurant years ago -- but as of Monday, Fletcher's time at the iconic establishment has come to an end.
House of Tricks owner Robin Trick says the split was an amicable one.
"We were just ready to move on. It's time," she says. "Ten years is a long time with one chef."
Fletcher also says he and the Tricks will remain on good terms.
"I love them, I love the restaurant, and I love what they do," Fletcher says.
The chef says he won't be going far -- and has plans to open his own restaurant in the near future. (He expects to be up and running on the new project within the next couple of months.) In the meantime, he'll be working on some pop-up collaborations and events, starting with a collaboration this weekend at Devoured with Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House and The Gladly.
Tricks is in no hurry to find Fletcher's replacement; Trick says they'll explore all options, including bringing someone up from inside. And if they do bring on some one new, Trick says they will look for someone with a style similar to the New American fare Fletcher was already serving.
"There's no reason to make any drastic changes," Trick says. "We've been doing a good thing for 27 years. We have a good reputation."
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In the interim, Trick says, the restaurant will continue to serve the less than a month old menu they're currently offering. That menu will stay in place until next season, at which time a new chef (if there is one) will change it over.
For information about Fletcher's next venture keep an eye on KellyFletcherCooks.com.