Hold on to your fluffy pancakes: Chef Hansel Tan has given notice at Downtown’s go-to brunch spot, The Smashed Pig. His last day will be October 31. The chef starts on November 1 at chef-owner Natalie Young’s Chinese and Southern-fried chicken joint Chow.
Young confirmed the move, saying, “I like Hansel. He seems like he wants to put in the work. He’s a really good cook and a nice guy. I’m always looking for passionate people, trying to build a team. It’s time if I want to grow. [I] have other opportunities and amazing projects in the works. So I hope he takes Chow and runs with it.”
Doing just that, Tan’s first order of business will be to fix the wok station, which he says lacks insulation around the heating element to properly heat the wok. Tan says he can cut the cooking time for items such as the house signature chicken fried rice down from 5-6 minutes to 2½ when it’s fixed.
Young also had some choice words for those who have gone before Tan: “I opened Chow with the intention of having an up-and-coming chef who wants the challenge of running a restaurant—so far no luck. Either they don’t want to work or they don’t want to clean or they want a ton of money to stand around and be pretty. They don’t want to grind before they shine. I’m not just going to hand someone the keys if they have not earned them.”
In related news, Smashed Pig’s bartender and spirituous leader Chase Gordon departs mid-month. He’ll henceforth hear your confessions at Atomic Liquors, which continues to make its push toward having a liquor program to rival its award-winning beer offerings with the debut of a new and voluminous spirits menu.