Charleston's loss is our gain. According to the Post & Courier, Charleston, S.C.'s daily paper, former Red Medicine sous chef Ari Kolender is heading back to Los Angeles. The chef left for his home state a few years ago, first working with chef Mike Lata at the Ordinary and then becoming chef last year at Leon's Oyster Shop. Prior to his time at Red Medicine, Kolender had worked for years with Michael Cimarusti at Providence.
His time as a head chef was fruitful: He was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star of the Year award this year.
According to the Post & Courier piece, Kolender's plans in L.A. are still developing. “I haven’t committed to any project, but am in talks with a few new ventures,” Kolender says.
We shouldn't expect anything too quickly — the chef isn't leaving Charleston until September, after which he plans to travel around Europe before heading west.
Either way, it's nice to see some of the young talent L.A. has fostered returning this way. We look forward to seeing what's in store for Kolender.