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Shaun McCrain Leaving Book Bindery, Opening New Restaurant

[Jill Kinney and Shaun McCrain. Photo: S. Gujavarty]

Shaun McCrain has built a devoted following as chef at Book Bindery since it opened in 2010. McCrain racked up experience in kitchens in the U.S. and Europe before returning to Seattle to help open the Nickerson St. fine dining restaurant on the Ship Canal. Now comes word that he's departing on June 28 to start a launch a new concept alongside partner and Book Bindery GM Jill Kinney.

McCrain worked at Thomas Keller's Per Se in Manhattan for four years, and also at Les Elysees du Vernet and Taillevent in Paris. McCrain met Kinney during his time at Per Se. Kinney tells Eater, "The departure plans were a long time in the making and very carefully considered. The transition plan is still a work in progress, and more details will follow. Right now our focus is Book Bindery."

Book Bindery co-owner Sumi Almquist broke the news in an e-mail:

Even as our hearts break a little to write this, we, the owners of Book Bindery, are so grateful and fortunate that Shaun shared his time (four years!) and talents with us.

What's next for Book Bindery? "It was always our dream to turn Book Bindery into a talent incubator, a launching pad for great up-and-coming chefs," Almquist writes. "When we were first told about Shaun's plans some time ago, we started dining out around town with a vengeance, peering into kitchens on the sly, and making discreet inquiries." Although she's "in talks with a very worthy successor" Almquist welcomes chefs interested in the post to reach out "for future reference."

You can try McCrain's food at Book Bindery through June 28; at last check a few openings remain for a multi-course winemaker dinner on April 23.
· All Book Bindery Coverage [-ESEA-]
· Book Bindery [Official Site]