Orly's, as it will always be known in our hearts, sort of like the Sears Tower will always be just that) is down one celebrity chef.
Here's what Hungry Hound Steve Dolinsky has to say about the drama on his Adventures in Urban Eating blog:
Less than a month after opening its doors, chef Jennifer Gavin and The Big Easy (not to be confused with Big Easy Cajun at Old Orchard Shopping Mall) have parted ways. Gavin – a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen” – had been brought in to help overhaul the new menu and concept in the former Jalapeño’s/Orly’s space in Hyde Park, on 55th St.
We ate there once a few weeks ago and noticed a definite improvement in the menu, plus an attempt to spruce the place up with a coherent decor and a new coat of paint. But, alas, the curse of Orly's seems to have quickly set in, and now the folks behind the latest Orly's makeover are now kitty-hissing at one another:
“She up and quit on us, right in the middle of the shift on Saturday afternoon,” said owner David Shopiro. “Jennifer, while a good kitchen person, was more into being a celebrity.” Shopiro said the restaurant was pretty busy this past Saturday, and they were expecting a large group from Operation Push to come in around 1 p.m. Gavin had approached him, asking if she could do an exit interview for the Fox TV f0lks at 1 p.m. “She told me it would take a few minutes, so I thought, o.k.,” said Shopiro. Next thing he knows, the kitchen is in the weeds, and the team is clamoring for help. Customers were getting upset that the food was coming out slow. “I went to the office at 1:25 p.m., and it was locked, so I was shaking the door, asking her to get off of the phone, and come out to help,” said Shopiro. “By 1:40 p.m., customers were getting pissed off, so I started pounding on door, telling her to give them your phone number and call them back,” an exasperated Shopiro recounted. Two minutes later, he says, the chef walked out to the kitchen, told her boss he owed her an apology for yelling at her, and left the premises.
OK. So now here's the other side of the story:
For her part, Gavin says “things were getting a little weird, and the situation was not what I had planned on.” She has hired an attorney to assist with her separation from the business.
A little weird. That just about gets it.
****(And for more weirdness, check out Dolinsky's upcoming bit on The Big Easy this Friday (ABC 7, 11 AM) in which he interviews now-departed Gavin.)
*****Photo above sourced at: [http://www.buddytv.com/pictures/jen-1-pictures/viewer.aspx?ai=58463&pi=1021928]