A day after his abrupt departure from Dean Street was announced on the restaurant’s Facebook site, Nate Smith has opened up to Grub Street about the circumstances surrounding his dismissal, and it’s frankly kind of hilarious.
Apparently Smith objected to the owners’ decision to play the television during dinner hours: The chef, who describes himself as “not a television person,” felt the offending appliance “didn’t feel very Brooklyn,” but instead more like “a sports bar.” He didn’t care for the music coming out of the jukebox, either.
Smith, who said he was fired shortly after the contentious television exchange, is now looking — along with a couple of other former Dean Street cooks and his wife, the restaurant’s ex-pastry chef — toward the greener, flat-screen-free pastures of Williamsburg, where he’s hoping to collaborate with bar owners on some projects. If that doesn’t work out, we hear there might be an opening at ESPN Zone.
For their part, Dean Street’s owners seem like they want to put this all behind them. When asked about the direction the restaurant would be taking, John Longo emailed us with the following statement:
“We would not like to engage in a back and forth with Nate in the media. Suffice it to say, that after 30 or so extremely successful days in business, Dean Street had no choice but to let its chef go. It was clearly a decision we would have preferred not making.
“As for the current and future state of our kitchen, we are in excellent hands as we navigate some difficult days. We are considering a few different directions our menu could take as well as a handful of candidates who could take over as chef.”
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