Hold on tight, Venice: there is still more moving and shaking going down at Superba Food + Bread. Only just now hovering at the one year in mark, the popular neighborhood all day cafe has seen staff run through their hands like water, and this latest splash is no exception.
Incoming executive chef Jennifer Toomey is now officially outgoing, after no more than ten weeks on the job.
Update: Toomey responds to management's assertion that she was always intended to be temporary hire with the following statement:
I was hired by Superba Food & Bread as the permanent, full time executive chef, but it did not prove to be the right fit. I wish them the best moving forward, and look forward to my new opportunity with the New School of Cooking.
In some info circulated around yesterday, management wishes her "good luck on her new venture," which is running the culinary instruction side of the New School of Cooking. Superba’s loss turns into a big gain for the Culver City school and cafe outlet.
In her place lands a relatively big name: Kazuto Matsusaka, who spent time under Wolfgang Puck at Spago and Chinois on Main, and more recently manned the since-departed Beacon in Culver City, which closed in 2011. Matsusaka has been working mostly privately in the interim, but now jumps on board the Superba wave, along with his wife.
Vicki Matsusaka, who was previously the GM at Beacon alongside her husband, is joining forces along Lincoln Blvd to try to normalize the day-to-day operations. David Rex, the recently appointed GM, stays on in his role.
And for the final bit of business, Minnie Choe steps in as both pastry chef and head bread chef. Those are big shoes to fill, particularly because they previously belonged to two different people: Lincoln Carson and Jonathan Eng. Reached for comment, the Paul Hibler’s American Gonzo restaurant group says that Choe will be working closely with Kazuto and Vicki.
The team there is also eager to find some stability among the recent swell of chaos inside the one year old restaurant. They claim that Toomey was only a temporary executive chef and that the Matsusakas were the original intended hires (a claim Toomey denies above) and hope to reiterate that, with a new restaurant group CEO and GM on site at Superba Food +Bread, sales are looking better than ever. It’s hard to ignore all the boat rocking, though.