After three and a half years leading the kitchen at Eric Ripert's Westend Bistro, chef de cuisine Joe Palma is leaving the restaurant — and DC itself — for an executive chef position in Charleston. In an email newsletter to patrons, the chef thanked Ripert for his "continued mentorship," and thanked pretty much everyone else, too:
"I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks for all your support and patronage over the past 3 years and 7 months of my tenure. It was a wonderful challenge to be able to constantly strive to make Westend Bistro one of the top restaurants in Washington, D.C. and I can't be any prouder of the team that we've assembled and that I have had the pleasure of leading."
Palma doesn't mention exactly which Charleston restaurant will be his new home, but via Twitter he reveals that his last day at Westend Bistro will be April 20. So make those farewell reservations. Here's the full text of the letter:
"Dear Friends of Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert,
Ever since attending the College of Charleston in South Carolina, I've been transfixed by the unique blend of history and eye towards the future that the city of Charleston has to offer. In addition to a fantastic cultural scene, I truly think the culinary movement there is one of the best on the East Coast. I have recently accepted an Executive Chef position there and am tremendously excited to see what that city has to offer again as I continue to grow professionally and personally.
I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks for all your support and patronage over the past 3 years and 7 months of my tenure. It was a wonderful challenge to be able to constantly strive to make Westend Bistro one of the top restaurants in Washington, D.C. and I can't be any prouder of the team that we've assembled and that I have had the pleasure of leading.
To Chef Ripert, who has constantly provided ways for me to expand my professional experiences, both at Le Bernardin and with his appointment here, I owe you great thanks and a tremendous debt. I look forward to your continued mentorship as I take this next step.
To the team at The Ritz-Carlton, it has truly been a pleasure to see another facet of the industry at the highest level and to Elizabeth Mullins and all the rest of the team, thank you for your patience, tutelage, and support.
I'm leaving you in the great hands of Westend general manager Shaun Henesy and a top notch culinary team.
If you have any questions, or wish to keep in touch, my new twitter account is @ChefJoePalma and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish you all the best in your future and look forward to welcoming you to "The Holy City" Charleston for some incredible food, beverage, history, and southern hospitality."
[Photo: Westend Bistro/Facebook]