Former Underbelly sous chef Ryan Lachaine has taken a position at Reef. He'll be assisting chef/owner Bryan Caswell with a significant overhaul of the popular seafood restaurant's menu.
"Bryan's always been a stand up guy with me, so it was an easy decision," Lachaine tells CultureMap via text message. "I'm excited about joining the team here at Reef and getting back in the kitchen."
Lachaine worked at Reef and Caswell's since-closed Stella Sola in the past (The Chronicle first reported on Caswell and Lachaine reuniting). The two chefs remained friends even after Lachaine moved on.
"Bryan's always been a stand up guy with me, so it was an easy decision."
Caswell's esteem for Lachaine's work helped the young chef earn an Eater Young Gun award in 2013.
"Just a really fun guy, great guy to work with. Hard working that kid. Like old school hard working. They're hard to find nowadays . . . He's actually better than anyone I've ever had," Caswell told Eater.
As Lachaine told CultureMap in a January exclusive, he has spending his time away being a dad to his two sons and participating in pop-up events like Indie Chefs Week at Foreign & Domestic in Austin and RAW:ALMOND in his hometown of Winnipeg.
Lachaine texts that he still aspires to open his own restaurant in the future, but "right now I'm focusing on doing my job at Reef."
The young chef's passion and work ethic should be just the thing Reef needs to reinvigorate itself. Expect to see the results of this new collaboration in a month or so.