Robert Aikens has left the executive chef's post at The Dandelion - the Stephen Starr-owned British pub at 18th and Sansom Streets - in favor of a bigger role in New York. He arrived just before the restaurant's fall 2010 opening.
Aikens will become chef at The Peacock and the other restaurants opening this September at Williams, the boutique hotel in the former Williams Club in Murray Hill, as reported in the New York Times.
Aikens, who wrapped up his work in Rittenhouse on Sunday, told the Times that British food has been largely missing from New York.
If Starr has his way, Aikens and his new bosses, Jason Hicks and Yves Jadot, who own Jones Wood Foundry on the Upper East Side, will have some competition.
Starr told me that he is scouting NYC locations for a second Dandelion.
He said The Dandelion's new chef will be Aikens' righthand man, Joe Monnich, a Culinary Institute of America-trained alum of Parc, Morimoto, and Susanna Foo.