James Beard semi-finalist Jose De Brito quietly left his post as executive chef at The Alley Light last week, and rumors have been flying about what his next move is. Well, the cat’s out of the bag.
“The Inn at Little Washington is pleased to welcome Charlottesville’s Jose De Brito to its kitchen brigade,” says The Inn at Little Washington PR Director Rachel Hayden. “He will join Chef Patrick O’Connell and his team of 36 chefs in The Inn’s five-star kitchen this spring. We are all looking forward to working together and to having Jose on our team.”
O’Connell and his restaurant at The Inn at Little Washington—which opened in a former garage in 1978—have received international accolades for years, including restaurant of the year from the James Beard Foundation in 1993.
As for The Alley Light, founder and co-owner Will Richey says he isn’t worried about the transition. Former sous chef Robin McDaniel has taken over the kitchen as chef/co-owner, and Richey is confident she will uphold the reputation that De Brito built.
“She will continue in the method of classical French cuisine that Jose began, staying true to the aesthetics that have rounded out the experience of The Alley Light,” he says. “Robin was already leading the kitchen at The Alley Light two nights a week and for many months during the last few years when Jose would travel, and she is eager to lead our kitchen with her own personal touch.”