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Michelin-Starred Hatchet Hall Suddenly Loses Its Celebrated Chef

Chef Wes Whitsell departed from the Culver City restaurant this week after two years behind the stoves

Portrait of Wes Whitsell at Hatchet Hall.
Chef Wes Whitsell.
Ashley Randall Photography
Cathy Chaplin is a senior editor at Eater LA, a James Beard Award–nominated journalist, and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles.

Eater has learned that chef Wes Whitsell is no longer cooking at Hatchet Hall in Culver City as of Tuesday, April 18. Best known for its Southern-inflected fare, the restaurant owned by Louie and Netty Ryan opened in 2015 with chef Brian Dunsmoor at the helm. Whitsell came on board in 2021 following Dunsmoor’s departure and most notably garnered the restaurant its first Michelin star last year.

Whitsell is leaving the restaurant under amicable terms. “We wrote the first chapter with Brian, the second chapter with Wes Whitsell; it was a great chapter,” Louie Ryan tells Eater. “He brought something great and interesting to the restaurant, and a Michelin star followed him in. We were delighted to have him while he was here, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Whitsell sent Eater the following statement regarding his departure: “After two years at Hatchet Hall, we’ve decided to part ways. Louie and Netty Ryan gave me the opportunity of a lifetime and together we turned Hatchet Hall into a huge success. I’ve never enjoyed working for two people as much as I did working for Louie and Netty. I will dearly miss my staff, as they have been the most fun and enjoyable people to work with. The kitchen team was by far the best team I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my career. The guest base continues to be such an amazing array of people. I will miss the people. Hatchet Hall is a special place. I’m so grateful to have been a part of revitalizing it and helping it become what it is today.”

Both the Ryans and Whitsell are pursuing projects beyond Hatchet Hall that are slated to launch soon. Eater will share more details as they develop.

Hatchet Hall

12517 Washington Boulevard, , CA 90066 (310) 391-4222 Visit Website