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Brazen Opening Chef Lance Barto Gets Fired

Barto announced his departure from the restaurant on a Facebook post.

Adam Larkey

The first time Eater visited the spot that was-to-be Brazen last July, chef Lance Barto was tiling a wall. The opening was weeks away and he and owner Chris Sargent were furiously working on the finishing space. Today, five months into serving the Berkeley/Highland neighborhoods, Barto was fired.

"Just let go from brazen. Any job leads?" announced the chef in a Facebook post that already has over 42 comments ranging from ideas on jobs to threatens to cancel reservations at the restaurant.

What happened? Irreconcilable differences is the best description we can come up with. "It was time to make that decision," says owner Chris Sargent. "No one person is better than the whole team here. What matters to me most is to have that team thrive. I am actually excited for the challenge and the change we have made," he added.

A core kitchen crew including sous chef Timothy Mayfield (who will most likely become kitchen manager) and Brady Marcotte, formerly of Acorn and Table Top, will remain at Brazen.