Ryan Studebaker, the former head chef at La Mesa's Gingham, who was an unfortunate casualty of the Enlightened Hospitality Group and Cohn Restaurant Group misadventure over the potential sale of the restaurant, has taken up a new residence at The Hopping Pig on Fifth Avenue downtown.
Though the chef was quick to note that he harbors no ill will towards the EHG and Brian Malarkey (he's newly engaged to Rachel King, the restaurant group's lead pastry chef), Studebaker told Eater that he was ready to move on, noting that Gingham's BBQ-centric menu was a departure from his personal culinary style, which he developed through training in the kitchens of Mister A's, JRDN, Whisknladle and Prepkitchen.
He's already refreshed The Hopping Pig's menu, updating current favorites with improved technique and locally-sourced ingredients while adding some dishes of his own, including mahi mahi from Catalina Offshore and a classic beef bourguignon. The chef has also crafted a weekend brunch menu, and plans to develop some special beer and food pairing events for the restaurant.
· The Hopping Pig [Official Site]
· All Chef Shuffles on Eater San Diego [~ESD~]