The Times reports today that Ryan Skeen, late of Resto, will take the reins at Haute Barnyard yearling Irving Mill. (Skeen was last seen helping out buddy Nick Morgenstern at the General Greene.) It’s a smart, if slightly risky, move for Irving Mill’s owners. Skeen is an edgy, talented, assertive chef who will give the place the one thing it needs: a culinary identity. Under previous chef John Schaefer’s administration, Irving Mill was a poor man’s Gramercy Tavern, with all the dressing but none of the brilliance of Michael Anthony’s kitchen. But Skeen is also a young guy who has never run a major kitchen and may not be emotionally ready to motivate a large staff. After eating his fat-happy, Pelaccio-esque food at Resto, we’re on pins and needles to see what he does with a major kitchen, though, and its accompanying budget. Whether there will be so many vegetables on the menu is another question.
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