This week’s splashiest foodie news is the somewhat sudden departure of chef de cuisine Brian Lewis from his post at Vu – the fine dining destination at the Hyatt Scottsdale Gainey Ranch, which I reviewed in my New Times column only a few weeks ago.
I totally loved Lewis’s ultra-creative, elegantly presented dishes, and felt more than a pang of sadness (not to mention insatiable hunger) at the thought of our scene losing a talent like him.
Good thing he immediately put me right at ease, then, when we had a chance to chat earlier today.
“I’m definitely gonna stay here. I love it here,” he assured me.
So what went down at the Hyatt?
“They’re gonna close Vu for a little more than four months because they’re renovating the other restaurants there,” he explained. The other restaurants’ daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner operations will temporarily be based out of Vu’s kitchen.
Lewis didn’t see himself sticking it out for the interim, so he submitted his resignation, which was just finalized this week. “We had a great year, and I would’ve liked to have a great second year. But at least the split was 100 percent amicable,” he added.
In about three weeks, Lewis will be heading to Europe to work in the south of France and Brittany for a month. After that, he plans to do a culinary tour of the States – you know, a cross-country eating and drinking orgy -- for research purposes, of course.
Then he’ll “come back hitting it hard,” he said, returning to the Valley to start a new venture.
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“Thankfully, I’ve got something brewing,” Lewis said, holding off on further details at the moment. “There are two things I’m considering here that are just dynamic and really suit me.”
Aw, c’mon Brian, you can tell me…
“Well, I can say that it’s something I intend to be on a national level,” Lewis told me, promising that we’ll be hearing more from him – and soon.
Amen to that.