Chef Jack Riebel has left the Butcher & the Boar.
“It’s time to do something new,” he said from Charleston, S.C., where he is vacationing. “Butcher & the Boar was great for me, and I feel so fortunate to have had that experience. It was my first opportunity to do my own thing, and it was really rewarding. But I’m ready for the next episode.”
Riebel, one of the hardest-working chefs in the business, said that the long-term plan is to open his own place, in partnership with his wife. “It’ll take me a year to put it together,” he said. “But, hey, it’s January 2nd. Who knows what the next phone call will bring?”
Butcher & the Boar opened in February 2012 to rave reviews, including four stars from this critic. B&TB went on to be named the Star Tribune’s 2012 Restaurant of the Year, and was a James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant semifinalist. Riebel was also a 2013 James Beard nominee for Best Chef: Midwest.
Riebel has sold his ownership interest back to his B&TB partners. In the meantime, Riebel is consulting with B&TB partner Tim Rooney and Joe Kaplan of the former Joe’s Garage on a casual restaurant and bar project, slated to open later this year in the former Joe’s space on Loring Park.
No name yet (“We were originally calling it ‘Triton,’ but now we’re just calling it the ‘Joe’s Garage Project,’” he said with a laugh) but Riebel did say that they’re aiming for a June 1st and that they hope to have a chef on board by March or April.
Don't expect to encounter a lot of changes at meat-centric Butcher & the Boar. Riebel’s gifted colleague Peter Botcher will be running the kitchen. “And obviously the whole crew that I hired and trained is still there,” Riebel said.
As for his immediate plans, Riebel has a full calendar. “I’m going to take it easy for a couple of weeks,” he said. “We’re going to spend a few months traveling. My wife has more than earned my free time.”