Brasserie 19 executive chef
de cuisine Amanda McGraw announced on Twitter Saturday that she has left the restaurant where she has worked since it opened in 2011. McGraw says she hasn't made plans and just "needs a change." In an email Brasserie 19 general manager Shawn Virene wrote "we wish Amanda the best. We enjoyed the hard work she put into the concept. I am sure she will do great things. She is a great chef."
While McGraw earned praise from Press critic Katharine Shilcutt, who named Brasserie 19 the best restaurant in River Oaks, her departure is unlikely to change the restaurant or diminish its popularity as a see and be seen spot. Brasserie 19's opening chef Michael Gaspard left after two weeks, Hay Merchant chef Antoine Ware followed him out the door quickly and former Rainbow Lodge chef Mark Schmidt preceeded McGraw. McGraw claimed the title of executive chef but is listed on Brasserie's website as the "chef de cuisine." Virene tells Eater that co-owner Charles Clark has always been the executive chef who sets the restaurant's menu.
Update: McGraw tells Eater she held the title of executive chef.
Amanda McGraw, middle, with Sparrow's Monica Pope and Roost's Kevin Naderi [Brasserie 19/Facebook]