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The Scoop: Chris Williams no longer at Franco or Nico

April 9th 10:04am, 2012

Chris Williams is no longer the executive chef at Franco or Nico. Williams, who was hired by owner Tom Schmidt for the top position at Franco in January 2011 and also managed exec chef duties at Schmidt’s new restaurant Nico in The Loop, parted ways with the restaurants yesterday in what Williams referred to as an “amicable departure.”

“I loved cooking at Franco a lot,” Williams told The Scoop. “And I will miss the stoves there and working there. But I know they are going to do well. I am going to find someplace that I get to be happy and put my own stamp on the kitchen,” he said.

“We’re happy to have Chris while we did, and he did a great job,” commented Schmidt. “We thank him for everything he did for Franco and Nico. I brought Chris on because I am a big believer in his food – and I still am. Chris is going to go somewhere and be awesome.”

As far as Williams’ plans for the future, he stated that he will “take a look at a lot of different things; maybe figure out how to get my own place. I may end up working for somebody for a while until I can get that up and going if that is the route I choose. I am going to look at all of it; that’s what you do.” Williams noted that he would prefer to stay in St. Louis and is not currently looking to move back to Ecuador, where he lived with his family for a few years prior to returning to his native St. Louis. “We enjoy St. Louis. We think there is great food being done here,” he added.

Taking the helm at Nico is Darrin Since, who Williams brought on as sous chef at Franco and has served in that role at Nico since it opened. Williams called Since a “strong, good leader in the kitchen,” while Schmidt considers him “young, hungry and talented.” Over at Franco, Kris Janik will move from sous chef to executive chef. “He’s constantly in love with food – driving and experimenting,” said Schmidt of Janik. “I’ve been working with him on and off for eight years.”

— Photo by Carmen Troesser

By Ligaya Figueras

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