The new year has begun with a number of interesting changes in the kitchens of some of Louisville’s best restaurants. It seems the norm for chefs to move around every few years; working in different restaurant environments, with different focuses on the food broadens and enriches a chef’s repertoire, and freshens the restaurant experience for diners. Louisville diners can observe how different hands at the helm affects their dining experience at Harvest, The Oakroom, 610 Magnolia, and Milkwood, all of which have seen changes in their kitchens.

The big shuffle seems to have started with Coby Ming leaving Harvest to rejoin the Wiltshire organization, to help Susan Hershberg start up the new cafe, Wiltshire at the Speed, when the museum re-opens in March after major renovation.

Patrick Roney, who had been chef at The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton left the hotel restaurant world to become executive chef at Harvest.

Nick Sullivan, who had been long-time executive chef at 610 Magnolia, moved down to Fourth St. to take over the helm at The Oakroom, where he has recently introduced a new menu.

Edward Lee shifted his staff around a bit, naming Milkwood’s executive chef Kevin Ashworth to that position at 610 Magnolia. The executive chef position at Milkwood, then, was filled by the promotion of chef de cuisine Glenn Dougan to the top spot there.

Diners should be glad that these ambitious young chefs are continuing to stretch their wings here in town, bringing their varied experience and ideas to freshen the food ideas at local restaurants.