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The Concepcion chef shakeup fallout: Restaurant (mostly) closed while owner looks for a new star

The Concepcion chef shakeup fallout: Restaurant (mostly) closed while owner looks for a new star

News_Ocean's_Jorge Alvarez
Jorge Álvarez, the owner of Concepción (and formerly Ocean's), told CultureMap that he is looking for the right person to replace Jonathan Jones in the kitchen.  Courtesy of Jack Thompson Photography

Jonathan Jones' unanticipated, contentious departure from Concepción last week caused an uproar, and left a lingering question — what will happen with the restaurant now that the star chef is gone?

Owner Jorge Álvarez tells CultureMap that the kitchen is currently closed, except for Sunday brunch and previously-arranged event obligations, while he looks for a replacement chef.

"We're interviewing people daily," says Álvarez, who explains that he is looking for a good fit for what the restaurant is trying to accomplish.

 "We're interviewing people daily," Álvarez says.  

That new applicant has big shoes to fill: Less than four months since its opening, Concepción has earned kudos from culinary critics and impressed diners throughout Houston Restaurant Weeks with its signature fresh, upscale Latin fare. 

That original concept was an extension of Ocean's that added land-fare options to the existing seafood and ceviche. Álvarez says that he wants the new name and an updated menu to correct the "fine dining" reputation that he feels was unwarranted.