Marigold Kitchen for sale as chef moves on

RobandRinnaSept2013_600
Rob Halpern and Rinna Diaz in September 2013.

Great reviews - including three bells from Craig LaBan and a best-of nod from Philadelphia Magazine - can't keep Robert Halpern behind the stove at his ambitious Marigold Kitchen in West Philly.

After five years, he has announced that he's stepping aside, as he's getting married on Sept. 6.

Halpern met his fiancee, Rinna Diaz, at the restaurant. "She was a customer. She liked my crab mac and cheese so much she told her server she would marry whoever cooked it. We started dating, and lo and behold, we are getting married. True story!"

After a short honeymoon, he and Rinna - an OR nurse at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital - will move out west.

His rep, Stacey Himes, points out that this is "just Rob. He’s kind of a free spirit that way. He came to Philly after New Mexico, Chicago, Vermont and Maine - he definitely has the wanderlust."

This will be a long goodbye. Final night will be June 28. Regular dinner service will run until Monday, May 19, and then will continue with what he's calling a series of "small, super-seasonal 'best of' dinners" on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights only from May 30 through June 28, 2014.

He's put the sale of the restaurant into the hands of Jack Benoff.

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