After executive chef Michael Tuohy left Grange in May, there was plenty of speculation about what would become of the Citizen Hotel's highly regarded downtown restaurant. After less than three years in town, the personable Tuohy had developed a reputation as a force in the farm-to-table movement, showcasing the area's bounty on his menus and leading groups of foodies on frequent tours of the nearby farmers market. At the end of May, Tuohy moved on, perhaps surprisingly, to Dean & DeLuca in the Napa Valley.
Grange didn't rush the quest to land a replacement. After a national search and more than 100 applications from throughout the United States and internationally, Grange has hired Oliver Ridgeway, a British citizen. Classically trained in French cooking, Ridgeway's experience includes a stint as sous chef at The Carlyle, the renowned New York Hotel, and most recently, and as executive chef at at the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe. His professional resume extends to restaurants in the U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom. He began working in the kitchen as a young boy in Horsham, England, where his father owned a restaurant.
"Chef Ridgeway is known for his passion for seasonal cuisine and a fresh modern approach to ingredients. Grange's dedication to the local farm-to-table platform remains unwavering, and Chef Ridgeway will shepherd Grange in a way that stays true to its original concept and vision while bringing a fresh energy to the restaurant," according to Lori Lincoln, director of public relations for Joie de Vivre Hotels, the Citizen's parent company.
We are expecting to see the chef's first menu at Grange by Oct. 21, and we`re sure to learn more about him in the weeks ahead. Until then, here is a snippet from the Rosewood Hotel when Ridgeway was hired at the Inn of the Anasazi:
"Chef Ridgeway's Contemporary American Cuisine celebrates an innovative approach to food focusing on seasonal ingredients, fish and the abundance of available local produce with European and Pan Asian influences. Oliver's style is exemplified by dishes such as Colorado Lamb with ancho crusted chop, shoulder confit, coco beans and baby tomatoes and Sea Bass with petit pan succotash, young corn, saffron pillows and harissa which brings out the magnificent flavor of the food while complimenting every element with natural ingredients. His menu at the Inn will change seasonally and features dishes that honor the newly redesigned Anasazi Restaurant's atmosphere and native dÃ©cor."