The London Plane is hoping the phrase “too many cooks” doesn’t apply in its situation, as the beautiful Pioneer Square cafe/florist/bakery/grocer announced two new chefs are leading the kitchen. James Beard Award-winning Matt Dillon opened the multifarious market in 2013 with Katherine Anderson; Andrew Gregory and Ricardo Valdes have now taken charge under Dillon’s tutelage.
The new executive chefs have solid resumes: Gregory trained at Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu before working at Tru in Chicago, then-Michelin-starred A Voce in New York, and, most recently, as executive chef at The Woodsman’s Tavern in Portland, according to a press release. Valdes, meanwhile, went through the Culinary Arts program at Art Institute of California then worked with Dominique Crenn at Santa Monica’s Adobe. He also did stints at L.A. restaurants Inn of the Seventh Ray, Provecho, The Redbury, and L.A. Chapter, with a stop as chef de cuisine at Delancey wedged in there, too.
Yasuaki Saito, general manager of The London Plane, told Eater the company chose the unusual dual-chef model to manage the many moving parts of a continually growing enterprise. The business includes a commissary kitchen that supplies wholesale baked goods to Elm Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Seattle Coffee Works, and La Marzocco; an events program under the direction of coordinator Meg Viera with an unspecified collaborative event series in the works; and, of course, the cafe, which is open daily. Gregory and Valdes are already developing new menu items for dinner service, currently available Wednesday through Saturday 5 to 9 p.m. and expanding to Tuesdays beginning March 7.
Saito said he’s looking forward to “bolster[ing] our team with more hands on training from these accomplished chefs,” which can only help the popular business in its evolution.