Reverse decision: Theo Adley will join the Squeaky Bean as exec chef
Lori Midson Theo Adley exercised his right to change his mind -- and will join the Squeaky Bean team.
At some point in the distant past, someone -- probably not a man -- declared that a "woman always has the right to change her mind," but that certainty applies to the other gender, too. Yesterday afternoon, in fact, Theo Adley, a male whose name was prominently featured this past week in food-related media outlets across Denver, including Westword, did exactly that: After announcing on his Facebook page that he had declined an offer to become the chef of the Squeaky Bean, a prominent LoDo restaurant heralding the talents of chef Max MacKissock, whose last official night in that kitchen is this evening, Adley reversed his decision.
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"I just needed to make sure that everything was lined up properly, and I wanted to make sure that all the pieces fit and that the support was there for a smooth transition, and at this point, I feel extremely comfortable with my decision," explains Adley, whose culinary pedigree includes cooking gigs at the Flagstaff House, Frasca Food and Wine, Radda Trattoria and the Little Nell in Aspen -- and, most recently, the Pinyon in Boulder, where Adley was the exec chef and owner until he sold the space in 2012 to Little H Burger Co, which has since closed.
When I interviewed Adley last year about his decision to shutter the Pinyon, he admitted that while "Boulder is a great community that goes way beyond its chefs, the truth is that I want to be in Denver. I want to cook -- and get better as a chef -- in a bigger city with more people and more diversity."
And now he'll get his wish.
"I'm so fucking excited to grow with the Squeaky Bean, and I'm humbled that they're excited, too, and with that, I accepted the position," says Adley. "This is an incredible restaurant with really amazing, progressive cuisine, and absolutely nothing is going to be compromised," he adds.
And while chef de cuisine Blake Edmunds will eventually depart the Squeaky Bean kitchen -- and general manager Stephen Gallic is leaving, too -- Adley insists that both the kitchen crew and the front-of-the-house staff will continue the remarkable success that the Squeaky Bean has achieved during its first year in business.
"The team here is just amazing -- it's one of the best assets of the Bean -- and Chris Schmidt, the Bean's incredibly talented sous chef, is going to help me out for the time being, and we're all going to keep doing some really cool things," promises Adley, noting that the menu will also continue to focus on seasonality and benefit from the Squeaky Bean's one-acre farm, the produce of which is a huge component of the restaurant's culinary culture.
And while MacKissock is departing to eventually open his own restaurant -- hardly a surprise -- Adley emphasizes that the former chef has offered to help facilitate a smooth transition. "Max has made himself completely available to me, as has Steve, and I'm really thankful for that," says Adley, stressing that "Everyone is parting on their own terms -- and on good terms."
Beginning early next week, Adley will begin the research and development process of creating new menus, which will continue to include a prix fixe option, as well as brunch and happy hour. And, then, in a few weeks, he'll begin inking those menus with his own style and spins. "I'm looking forward to digging into my own menu and taking things forward," says Adley, "and I'm excited about making the guest experience at the Squeaky Bean, which has always been fantastic, even better," he concludes.