Urban Farmer (1325 E. 6th St., 216-771-7707, urbanfarmercleveland.com) has been open for just six months, but already the executive chef has left the building. Opening chef Brad Cecchi, who relocated from Sacramento to Cleveland for the job, has accepted a new position back home. He will be the chef de cuisine at the Michelin-starred restaurant Solbar at the Solage Calistoga resort in Napa Valley, California.
“My fiancé and I always planned on eventually going back to California, whether that was in two years, five years or whenever,” Cecchi says from the sunny West Coast. “But then this opportunity at a Michelin-starred restaurant popped up.”
While here, Cecchi built a solid foundation for the restaurant – and his replacement – to build and grow upon.
“Urban Farmer is a great concept in a great building,” he says. “My kitchen staff was incredible. To find the amount of talent that I did there is pretty remarkable.”
While he won’t miss the winters here, he does have a newfound soft spot for the city he leaves behind.
“There’s such a buzz in Cleveland right now,” he says. “There’s nothing I could say about the city that isn’t totally positive.”
Of course, Urban Farmer will be in good (new) hands. Incoming executive chef Trent Love will take over the top chef role, says Kristen Pritchard, a manager who has been with the restaurant since the beginning. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California, Love worked as an Executive Sous Chef at Mastro’s Steakhouse in multiple locations, and helped open Herringbone in Los Angeles as their Chef de Cuisine.
“He has a great background and I think that he’ll work really well with our group.”
Meanwhile, Sage Restaurant Group, the Denver-based firm that developed the concept, will open the third Urban Farmer restaurant in the country in 2015, this one in Philly.