A month after chef Eric Rivera left Bookstore Bar and Cafe, sous chef Charlotte Graves, who was running the kitchen during parent company Kimpton Hotels’ search for a new executive chef, has also departed. Asked about her firing and the ongoing situation, a spokesperson for parent company Kimpton Hotels said, "There's no situation to be honest — she's just moved on."
Glaves disagrees; she told Eater she was let go for fabricated charges of dissent and toaster-tossing. "I was suspended on a Tuesday for an incident: Supposedly I threw a toaster across a kitchen and made some comments about the interim chef, then they suspended me even though none of that happened. After that three-day suspension, I came back on Friday and they let me go."
It seems as though the interim chef in question, longtime Kimpton fixer Simon Dolinky, may be scrubbing the property of Rivera's influence, Glaves said, from scrapping Rivera’s menus and shutting down his programs to canning his collaborators. (For its part, Bookstore said it is in the process of updating its menus, which should be online shortly.) According to Graves, Dolinky even claimed that morale seemed like it had been low for months, though Glaves said it still seemed high to her, not least of which because management had expressed excitement about her continued role in the kitchen.
Nevertheless, in an interview Glaves was sanguine about her prospects. Days after she left Bookstore, she won top prize at annual carnivorous bacchanal Burning Beast with a dish of grilled beef tongue featuring Bing and Rainier cherries five ways, including fermented two ways, pickled, pureed raw, and roasted to a heavy char. That success got her talking to event organizer Tamara Murphy, who’s brought Glaves into her restaurant Terra Plata to help with some projects, including reopening the rooftop patio and grill within the next couple of weeks.
Simultaneously, Glaves is looking for a small space for a restaurant of her own, focused on the kinds of seasonal ingredients prepared simply but meticulously that she and Rivera were showcasing at Bookstore. Fermentation, foraging, wood-smoking, and grilling could all play central roles. “I feel like it’s time, and honestly I’m over working for people telling me what to do and how to do it a certain way.” As for Bookstore, Glaves said, “Definitely their loss.”