Big changes are underway at the Libertine (7927 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-862-2999)
, as owners Nick and Audra Luedde announce that Samantha Mitchell will be taking over as the Clayton restaurant's executive chef.
Mitchell, who is known for her roving farm-to-table concept Farmtruk, is a veteran of Annie Gunn's and a Food Network
contributor. She will take over for current chef Matt Bessler, who is turning over the reigns immediately to focus on other projects.
Explain the Lueddes, "Chef Samantha Mitchell has long been a talent [we've] had our eyes on in the culinary scene, so when the opportunity arose to hand over the kitchen reigns to someone with Samantha's unique and one-of-a-kind way with food, [we] jumped at the chance."
Mitchell's promotion dovetails with a "new menu and reimagined culinary direction" for the Libertine in the coming weeks, though the Lueddes have not yet disclosed details of the changes.
Though Mitchell will have her hands full with her role at the Libertine, she plans to remain the chief proprietor of Farmtruk, which was recently announced as one part of a proposed new food truck court in Tower Grove South
In addition to the executive chef change, the Lueddes also announced that current sous chef Wil Pelly will be promoted to chef de cuisine. Chef Derek Northway, formerly of the Scottish Arms, Basso and Herbie's, will be joining the kitchen team as executive sous chef.
According to the Lueddes, the parting with Bessler is amicable and the three remain close friends. Bessler, who was with the Libertine since June 2015, replaced the acclaimed Josh Galliano, who had been with the Lueddes since the restaurant opened in 2015.
The Libertine isn't the only high-profile Clayton restaurant to announce a big change this week: Gerard Craft recently parted ways with the chef at Sardella, Nick Blue.
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