Chef Departures: Ron Siegel (Michael Mina), Sara Hauman (Huxley), Dennis Lee (Smokestack), Kevin Scott (Big 4), More

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Chef Ron Siegel. (Photo originally provided by Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.)

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Chef Sara Hauman. Photo courtesy of Huxley.

There are a lot of chef changes since the start of the year—let’s begin with the news that chef Ron Siegel has departed ~MICHAEL MINA~. He tells Scoop he’s tired of the commute to San Anselmo, which he has been doing for 18 years, and teases he may have something in the works in the North Bay.

His replacement is Raj Dixit, previously in the Mina group at Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in SoCal, as well as at The Ryland Inn under chef Craig Shelton and at David Bouley in New York. He’ll be ramping up for an early February transition.

One more thing to note: Michael Mina Restaurant has named Martin Sheehan-Stross as the lead sommelier. He will be working with Mina Group’s corporate wine director Rajat Parr to grow the program (look for even more Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne selections). He was recently named one of Wine and Spirits Magazine’s Best New Sommeliers in 2015 and was previously the beverage director at Wayfare Tavern.

I was sorry to hear Sara Hauman has packed up her one-woman army and departed ~HUXLEY~ in the Tenderloin. Eater adds she is going to be working with Brandon Jew on his upcoming Mister Jiu’s (coming in a couple of months)—she previously worked with him at Bar Agricole. Owner Kris Esqueda closed the restaurant this week to make some minor upgrades to the space; look for a small beer tap system, more wines by the bottle, and new low-ABV cocktails. Stand by for a chef announcement soon.

We just received word from Namu’s Dennis Lee that he is leaving his chef post at ~SMOKESTACK~ and ~MAGNOLIA GASTROPUB & BREWERY~ due to professional differences; he will be dedicating his efforts on Namu’s upcoming Divisadero project, Namu Noodle (coming to Dogpatch this year), and Namu Jakarta (opening in Indonesia this year—it will be a two-tiered concept in a luxury high-rise with a finer dining room upstairs, and a more casual concept at the lobby/ground level). His last day with Magnolia will be in February.

Chef Kevin Scott—who helped update the ~BIG 4~ menu and concept after the Huntington Hotel was taken over by the Scarlet Singapore (sorry not sorry, I refuse to call it the Scarlet Huntington)—departed after the holidays wrapped up; his last day was December 26th. He says he’s eager to get his own thing going, but in the meantime will be consulting and freelancing as he works on his next project. Best to you, Kevin!

The upcoming ~CITIZEN FOX~ (and recently opened Kit Fox) has lost their chef, Kevin Schuder. Eater reports “mutual differences in management” led to the decision to part ways. The Citizen Fox pop-up at 2293 Mission Street will continue with the kitchen staff in place there.