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BREAKING: Dominique Crenn Leaves Abode

SANTA MONICA: We just heard that chef Dominique Crenn is leaving Abode and will be replaced by chef de cuisine Cyril Kabaoglu. Crenn took a beating from the LA Times---Leslie Brenner and S. Irene Virbila, who gave the restaurant a half star---but they were the odd ladies out. Abode was a 2007 best new restaurant runner-up in Angeleno's restaurant awards, Jonathan Gold put it on his 99 Essential list, and Esquire called Crenn a best new chef to watch in 2007. On one hand, Crenn has great technique and took risks with some of her dishes, she's a proponent of organic and sustainable cuisine, but also believed in using great ingredients from around the world. With Abode's menu, she was uncompromising, as many great chefs are and should be. On the other, some dishes were a tad fussy and a little too precious. We ran into Crenn at some recent events, and on a personal level, she's just lovely. On a professional level, we admire her gumption. She didn't cower from criticism, and often directly asked people what they thought about her food. If something wasn't right, she wanted nothing more than to make it right. Hopefully it was a fantastic offer that made her move on vs. breaking under the weight of it all. We're told the menu will still focus on seasonal, contemporary cuisine, using organic and sustainable ingredients as much as possible.

The official word from Abode's owners:

Abode Restaurant & Lounge is excited to announce the transition of Cyril Kabaoglu from Chef de Cuisine to Executive Chef of Abode. Dominique Crenn, the original executive chef, is moving forward with her own personal and professional endeavors. We wish her well and express our gratitude for her contribution to Abode. Cyril Kabaoglu has been on board with this project since well before the opening of Abode, bringing critical creative contributions and exceptional skills to our restaurant. We are delighted to have him take over the reigns of Abode Restaurant & Lounge, and are excited about our future direction under his culinary command as we continue to serve the same high quality, innovative cuisine we've become known for at Abode.
No word on where Crenn will be next, but we'll keep you posted.
· A Scathing Review of Abode's...Sustainability? [~ELA~]
· Week in Reviews: Abode [~ELA~]
· Eater's Journal: Abode Restaurant and Lounge [~ELA~]