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Big Restaurant Shakeup

Shocking chef change: One of Houston's hottest new restaurants sees its chef suddenly leave

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18 Scott Sulma, from left, Grant Gordon and Tony Vallone at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Scott Sulma, from left, Grant Gordon and Tony Vallone pose at Vallone's opening party last November Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Kate McLean of Tony's Restaurant Houston
Kate McLean will maintain her position as the head of Tony's kitchen.  Photo courtesy of Tony's
2 Vallone's entrance December 2013
The recently opened steakhouse has lost both its executive chef and beverage director in the same week.  Photo by Julie Soefer/Courtesy of Vallone's
18 Scott Sulma, from left, Grant Gordon and Tony Vallone at Vallone's opening party November 2013
Kate McLean of Tony's Restaurant Houston
2 Vallone's entrance December 2013

As restaurant surprises go, it doesn't get much bigger than this.

Tony's/Vallone's executive chef Grant Gordon is leaving both restaurants. The sudden move means that Saturday is Gordon's last day in the Vallone's kitchen.

Gordon's arrival marked an upswing in the restaurant's quality and he was a natural choice when owner Tony Vallone partnered with him and general manager Scott Sulma to launch Vallone's, the recently opened steakhouse in the Gateway Memorial City complex. 

"It just wasn't for me," Gordon tells CultureMap of Vallone's.

As for the future, he doesn't have any plans yet. "I want to stay in Houston," Gordon says. "I'm definitely playing around with some ideas. I'm weighing all my options. Going to take my time."

 "It just wasn't for me," Gordon says. 

The chef says the split is entirely amicable. "Mr. Vallone set my whole career path. I owe him the world for everything he's done for me."

Sulma confirms Gordon's departure in what he also calls "an amicable split." At Tony's, Sulma says chef de cuisine Kate McLean is "firmly in place" in the role she's occupied for several months. Meanwhile, at Vallone's, Sulma says that the staff is "keeping it in house. Mr. Vallone is very active in the kitchen."

Gordon isn't the only high profile departure from Vallone's. Beverage director Evan Turner also left in the past week. 

Eric Blokkum will be leaving Vic & Anthony's to replace Turner. "We're really excited to have him," Sulma says. 

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