Santa Monica’s aestus is on the verge of celebrating its first year in business, but it will be doing so without its opening chef. Alex Ageneau, who previously spent time at The Royce in Pasadena and at Patina, is reportedly no longer involved with the restaurant.
A tipster writes in to say that Ageneau is out as of just a few days ago, and that it might have shaken up the restaurant's kitchen staff quite a bit in the process. The chef shuffle is confirmed by aestus owner Kevin O’Connor, who offers the following statement:
"We are so appreciative of Alex's influence on the culinary direction of the restaurant during our first year. He is transitioning to a new position, and we are working together to find his replacement. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
No word on the Ageneau's replacement just yet, or his next steps around town, but the revelation reveals just how in flux the LA dining scene can still be at times, particularly with new hires.
Nearby restaurant Santa Monica Yacht Club lost their opening chef de cuisine Walter el Nagar a month in, while Barnyard Venice torched through a handful of chefs in back-to-back months. Even Clifton's Cafeteria Downtown, which took more than four years to open and cost millions to finance, re-arranged much of their kitchen staff just after its debut.