April Bloomfield officially splits from Ken Friedman Melanie Dunea

April Bloomfield officially splits from Ken Friedman

Chef leaves The Spotted Pig, site of sexual misconduct allegations

Chef and restaurateur April Bloomfield on Wednesday officially completed a previously announced split from former business partner Ken Friedman this week, leaving the famed New York restaurant that has been tainted by sexual misconduct, according to Eater.com.

Bloomfield took full ownership and control of the group’s West Coast restaurants, including the recently opened Hearth & Hound in Los Angeles and Tosca Café in San Francisco.

She will also remain as chef at Breslin Bar & Dining Room and the John Dory Oyster Bar in New York, both located in the Ace hotel.

But Bloomfield is leaving the Spotted Pig, the New York restaurant opened in 2004 where she rose to fame, which is also the site where both Friedman and famed chef Mario Batali are alleged to have sexually harassed a number of women. Batali is also under investigation by New York police for sexual assault at the restaurant, though he denies those charges. 

Batali was an investor in The Spotted Pig. His New York-based company B&B Hospitality Group is also in the process of buying out Batali, and the Eataly chain has initiated the process to divest his interest in Eataly USA.

According to The New York Times, neither Bloomfield nor Friedman are still involved with Salvation Taco, a New York restaurant they opened in 2012 that has since been taken over by the Pod 39 hotel, where it is located.

Bloomfield is also no longer an owner of the butcher shop White Gold in New York, which opened in 2016.

Friedman, meanwhile, stepped down from daily operations of the restaurants operated by Friedfield Breslin LLC after the allegations were first revealed last year.

In a statement published by Eater, Bloomfield expressed optimism for the future, and noted that the John Dory would be re-concepted:

“Today, I am announcing the end of my partnership with Ken Friedman,” she said. “There is much hard work ahead, and it begins with taking full leadership of the Hearth & Hound in Los Angeles and Tosca Café in San Francisco. In New York, I remain chef at the Breslin and will begin work on re-concepting John Dory Oyster Bar.

“My complete focus now is on the welfare of and opportunity for my staff and building a company I can be proud of. This has been a painful time for many people, my past and present staff especially, and I will have more to say at some point in the near future. For now, I look forward to forging ahead.”

The question remains whether Bloomfield will be given a clean slate moving forward.

The chef has faced sharp criticism for not doing more to protect employees during her partnership with Friedman. Some victims said Bloomfield knew of the harassment but did little to stop it.

No details on the transactions involved in the company breakup were revealed.

Separately, Bloomfield remains a partner in the 66-acre Coombeshead Farm inn and restaurant created with chef Tom Adams in the Cornwall region of England.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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