Chef out of Le Chéri

Waldemar "Val" Stryjewski was chef de cuisine at Le Cheri, at 251 S. 18th St.

A bit of New Year's Eve upheaval:

Pierre and Charlotte Calmels of Le Chéri - the French restaurant that opened Nov. 20 in the Art Alliance on Rittenhouse Square - have parted company with chef de cuisine Waldemar "Val" Stryjewski.

Both the Calmelses and Stryjewski - friends for years - have kind things to say about each other.

"It wasn't a good match," Stryjewski, who worked with Pierre Calmels years ago at Le Bec-Fin, told me late Dec. 31. He has worked at a slew of restaurants, most recently

Charlotte Calmels said it had nothing to do with the quality of the food. "He's a great chef," she said. The kitchen needed more of a manager. "That's what makes things even harder," she said.

Pierre Calmels has been spending a lot of time at Le Chéri, while Ronald Fougeray, who has worked at the Calmelses' South Philadelphia BYOB Bibou since Day 1, runs the kitchen at Bibou. 

Charlotte Calmels said it was unclear how they would fill the position.