Yesterday’s rumored chef shakeup at First & Hope has proven true. Exec chef Shelley Cooper has exited the Downtown supper club, barely more than three months after the restaurant opened its doors. We may never know what drama occurred in this kitchen, as the restaurant’s official response is suspiciously sunny about the departure. We may never know, that is, until someone locates sous chef Jenny Selden. Yesterday, a PR rep told Eater Selden was fired and “on the war path causing trouble.” Today’s statement from the restaurant announces that Jenny left of her own will and was a close member of the family, with everyone wishing her and Cooper the best. As for the menu, so far the restaurant says the experience is not changing and their commitment to health standards is unwavering. To read the whole saccharine cover-up explanation of the two departures, take a look below at an announcement from the GM.
Official Statement Regarding First & Hope Supper Club’s Culinary Team:
First & Hope Supper Club today announces the official departure of Executive Chef Shelley Cooper and the willful departure of Sous Chef Jenny Selden. It has been an immense honor to count Shelley and Jenny as close members of our family and team as we saw First & Hope successfully open its doors. Shelley was an integral part in helping us create a menu worthy of the Modern American Comfort Food concept that has allowed us to build a multitude of loyal patrons and a notable presence in the local dining scene. Shelley’s hard work and dedication to First & Hope is evidenced by the highly-professional kitchen and back-of-house staff that continues to operate seamlessly in her absence We are proud of all our staff and colleagues and are certain that the transition process will not adversely affect the First & Hope experience for our patrons. First & Hope has always maintained a menu, ambience and culinary program that adheres to the highest safety, health and professional standards and that will not, nor has it ever changed. We wish Shelley the best in her personal endeavors, and are proud to have allowed her a platform to flourish as she continues to develop her career.
-First & Hope General Manager Steve Scott Springer
Earlier: Shelley Cooper Rumored to Have Split from First & Hope [Grub Street]