Susur Lee Out at Washington’s Zentan

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WASHINGTON — Susur Lee is reportedly making a move and will be replaced by newcomer Jennifer Nguyen at Zentan, a Washington restaurant that the Toronto chef was involved in opening in 2009.

The Asian-fusion restaurant inside the Donovan House Hotel was taken over by San Francisco-based Kimpton in April. According to The Washington Post, the agreement between the celebrity chef and the restaurant/hotel company is mutual with both parties set to part at the end of the month.

“It’s not a broken concept,” said Danny Bortnick, Kimpton’s D.C. director of Restaurant Operations as quoted by the Post. “Zentan is a very busy restaurant.” But “for me, a restaurant should always be an evolution.”

Nguyen, previously from Las Vegas’s Bouchon and Philadelphia’s Morimoto, will debut the new menu, set to launch in May, with more “interactive” dishes, including designer beef cooked on Japanese river stones, and Thai accents, including house-made curries.

Meanwhile, Lee was forced to shut down his NYC restaurant Shang in 2010, but still heads Toronto’s Bent (with his sons) and Lee’s as well as Singapore’s Chinois.

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