Chef change at Buddakan

Scott Swiderski, who's been executive chef at Philly's Buddakan since its 1998 opening and the creator of such signature dishes as the calamari salad and dry-aged beef, is bowing out, effective June 12.

"It's time," Swiderski, 47, told me. "I need a breather, need to recharge, take a little bit of a rest, spend time with my wife and daughter [who's 7], and get my golf handicap down."

The announcement Wednesday left some staffers in tears, said Swiderski, who said he got misty himself.

He said his next stop may be in the personal-chef world, though it's possible he will land in a new restaurant, or even, someday, back with Buddakan owner Stephen Starr.

Starr has hired the well-traveled Mark Hellyar, a Johnson & Wales alum who studied with Michel Richard and has kitchen stops in Tokyo, London, and D.C. Most recently, he was with Hook and Tackle Box, two seafooders in Georgetown.

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