I probably hear a rumor about Farm 255 closing at least once a year. The restaurant industry is full of gossip, and much of it doesn’t turn out to be true.
Those rumors have been swirling again, perhaps due to the fact that Chef Whitney Otawka is leaving, perhaps for Atlanta. Otawka confirmed that this is her last weekend at the restaurant and said that she has “two serious considerations on the table” as far as her next venture.
Olivia Sargeant, co-owner of the restaurant, did not respond to requests for a comment, but Rachel Bailey, who does PR for Farm, has said on numerous occasions and firmly that the restaurant is not going anywhere and that it has multiple events booked into the early fall. She also mentioned that Jennifer, who has been managing Farm Cart, is done in August but that the restaurant has been training someone new to take over the mobile eatery.
Cross your fingers that it’s all just a bit of upheaval rather than death throes. Farm has been a real boon to our local scene, not least in the number of talented chefs it’s trained in its large and capable kitchen. And if you want to eat Otawka’s food, get a move on during Athfest.
UPDATE: Otawka says this is her “last weekend as ‘Chef'” but adds that she “will be around through mid July to set up the kitchen for my departure. Hoping to be on the line a bit more to cook with my awesome line.”
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