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Dining News: New Chef at The Kitchen

Video of Kelly McCown from 2004.

For the third time in 2.5 years, The Kitchen has a new executive chef.

The Selland Group announced yesterday that Kelly McCown would take over for David Chavez as executive chef of The Kitchen. Chavez was preceded in recent years by John Griffiths and Noah Zonca.

McCown most recently served as the driving culinary force behind the upcoming 'Obo Italian Restaurant by the Selland Group. He has also worked at Napa's Goose & Gander and served as executive chef at Ella, another Selland restaurant.

Chavez, according to the Sacramento Bee's Allen Pierleoni, decided to move back to Los Angeles to take a job with Sprouts.

“Because of construction issues, (the opening of OBO’) is taking much longer than we thought, so we probably won’t open until January or February now,” said Randall Selland. “Kelly helped Nancy (Zimmer, Selland’s wife and a partner in the group) develop all the recipes for OBO’, and when David decided to move back to Los Angeles and take a job with Sprouts, Kelly said he was ready to commit to (The Kitchen job). We’ll find another chef for OBO’ when the time comes. (The situation) just sped things up. Kelly wants to make a career with us, and we’re really lucky.”

“Ultimately, we knew Kelly would play a role in The Kitchen,” added Josh Nelson, Selland’s son and co-owner of The Kitchen. “David had committed himself for only two to three years. The timing just happened the way it did.”

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

The Kitchen remains on track to move to Broadway. I drive by its new location every day and demolition continues on the existing building.

I do wish Chef Chavez good luck. I spotted him at a recent preview for Billy Ngo's Fish Face Poke Bar. I don't know if he was pushed out or left on his own, but I enjoyed his accessibility, showmanship and the food he served.

Click here to read the entire press release.

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