Last week came news that chef Jason Wilson of Miller’s Guild had launched a new partnership with El Gaucho Hospitality, the parent group for high-end steakhouses El Gaucho and Aqua by El Gaucho. The move gives Wilson the title of Culinary Director at El Gaucho Hospitality, but the team was quick to clarify that this isn’t a merger.
“This is a collaborative partnership between two respected Pacific Northwest hospitality companies — not a merger,” the release notes. “There will be no change in ownership at either company. The partnership is designed to highlight the strengths of both organizations and provide opportunities to grow and learn.”
So what does this ballyhooed not-a-merger really mean for diners? Not necessarily much short-term, as El Gaucho owners Chad Mackay and Ken Sharp told Eater there may only be changes “behind the curtain” at first, “Subtle changes that guests may notice from a service level or culinary experience that may be more polished and intuitive — bringing each to a higher level.”
But chef Wilson will put his spin on the menus at El Gaucho, presumably to modernize them a bit.
El Gaucho Hospitality will also collaborate with Wilson on his two upcoming restaurants in Bellevue: a modern Northwest farm-to-table restaurant called The Lakehouse and a “speakeasy” called Civility and Unrest. Both are aiming for summer openings.