E.U. Fires Chef for Undue Greenmarket Devotion

Justin Smillie was fired as chef at E.U. on Wednesday. Owner Jason Hennings blames the departure on Smillie's unwillingness to cut costs. “After six months of 45 percent food costs in a recession, Justin paid more respect to the Greenmarket than to the restaurant.” Smillie, who had replaced Akhtar Nawab, took his entire staff with him this week. An interim crew is running the restaurant, and Hennings has yet to name a new chef. He's not too worried about that, though. “E.U. was never intended to be a chef-driven concept. It’s more about paying homage to traditional European cookery.” A call to Smillie reached a full voice mailbox. Smillie did enthuse about the greenmarket as recently as last month in an interview with Shiftdrink: "In market season, which just started right now, I’m usually at the green market four to five days a week—between Union Square, Brooklyn; I hit Abington Square on Saturdays. We’re all over the place... I think my cooking relies heavily on my relationship with that, I mean, it doesn’t get any fresher than that." No, it doesn't. But it does get cheaper, sad to say.