Barbecue enthusiasts in the Big Apple sit down: Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) has announced that executive chef Kenny Callaghan of Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard will leave his position at the New York institution to "pursue an array of new culinary opportunities," meaning New York is losing an excellent barbecue master.
Callaghan, who helmed the barbecue revolution in New York City (USHG is calling him an "original pioneer of New York City's urban barbecue movement"), headed up the Blue Smoke kitchens for 12 years, serving 20 years total with USHG. Prior to opening Blue Smoke back in 2002, Callaghan served eight years in the Union Square Cafe kitchen.
Callaghan, who is also a partner of Blue Smoke Enterprises, will remain a partner and still be involved in the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, which he co-founded. He leaves his cooking duties, however, at the end of October. We've reached out to USHG for comment.