"NO" does not always mean "NO" and, contrary to social media fanatics, Facebook does not make everything official. A week ago, Denver's restaurant world was shaken up by news that acclaimed chef Max MacKissock of the Squeaky Bean was leaving the LoDo restaurant. In that same breath, a name was circulated as a replacement: Theo Adley, who last cooked at the Pinyon in Boulder. By Thursday, Adley announced, in a Facebook post among others, that he was not interested in taking the position. On Friday afternoon, however, the word around town was that he changed his mind. And that is where we stand now.
Theo Adley is officially taking over the executive chef position at the Squeaky Bean and yesterday, before his first day on the line, he shared some thoughts on the changes that he envisions for the restaurant and more.
"Max and I are totally different chefs. Each of us has a different perspective on cooking. Mine runs along the line of Italian cuisine, which is where most of my training is. I put a lot of soul into my food and I like to keep it simple," Adley explained. "The program will advance on the same path of high-quality and seasonal ingredients. My food at the Squeaky Bean is not going to be as garnish heavy. Max's food is beautiful and delicious and I'd like to think mine is the same. They are, however, beautiful in very different ways," he added.
For the next two to three weeks, chef de cuisine Blake Edmunds and sous chef Chris Schmidt will continue to prep and serve the menu that MacKissock created. Adley will be on the line helping out, while developing his own menu for the restaurant, a brand new one that expresses his cooking sensibility and past work influences. It is safe to say that your entree at the Squeaky Bean will look completely different in a month.
What prompted Adley's flip-flopping? "In the beginning, the whole process seemed very intense - a lot to handle in a short amount of time. The biggest reason for declining the offer was that I have been looking into opening my own restaurant for eight months," Adley said. "There was a lot of work that went into that and several opportunities that came from it. There were a couple of spaces I was seriously considering," he added. "At the end of the day, the Bean is a fantastic restaurant and I want to be a part of that. It took a little more soul searching," he concluded.
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· The Squeaky Bean Among Bon Appetit's 50 Best New Restaurants [EDen]
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Theo Adley [Photo: Daily Camera]