In February, Eater brought the surprising news that shortly after being named a James Beard Semifinalist for Best Chef: Northwest, Jason Stratton of the 38-worthy Spinasse, Artusi, and Vespolina was leaving those restaurants immediately. At the time, Stratton said, "Once you get to a certain point, the creative process gets a little more difficult because you don't really feel like you have a full charge in you. I thought it was time for a sabbatical. Work on some art, do some reading, do some traveling and kind of just focus on me for a little bit. That's the long and short of it."
The break is now over, it turns out, because mamnoon owner Wassef Haroun has announced that Stratton came on as the mamnoon's new general manager last Monday, and will be in training for several weeks. Says Haroun: "Jason has been a good friend of mamnoon's for some time, and we have been big fans of his and Spinasse ... This comes at an ideal time in mamnoon's development, specially with other projects starting to make serious demands on Racha's and my time. The GM role is new for mamnoon and will have all areas reporting to it, as a result it really calls for a special talent with a combination of culinary, restaurant management and guest relation skills--Jason is a great fit."
Haroun says Stratton will be heading up a soon-to-be-updated lunch program, among other projects.