For more than six months, David Fields has been searching for an executive chef for a.kitchen, the boîte he operates at the AKA Rittenhouse Square.
Meanwhile across town in Old City, Ellen Yin and chef Eli Kulp have been killing it at Fork and High Street on Market.
Yin and Fields - longtime fans of the other - got to thinking.
"Ellen has for 16 years had the best-restaurant in the city," Fields said.
"David and I share the same aesthetic, whether it's style or wine," Yin said.
Effective immediately, Yin and Kulp are partners with Fields at a.kitchen and its oyster-bar sibling, a.bar.
Kulp becomes executive chef. New menus - to be executed by a to-be-determined chef de cuisine - will begin in March.
"All three [restaurants] will have a clear identity," Fields said. They expect a.kitchen to be positioned as less refined than Fork, but "not plain in any way."
While Fields and Yin declined to specify the exact business relationship, the three will collaborate on all aspects of the operation. Michael Dombkoski (ex-Timber, Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen, Starr, !Pasión!) recently was named a.kitchen's general manager.
This will be the start of other collabs and projects for Yin and Kulp, under their newly formed High Street Hospitality Group.