City Pork Group Executive Chef Ryan Andre announced this morning he is leaving the restaurant group after more than three years with the company.
“God is kinda moving me in a direction I need to go to further my career,” Andre says of his decision, adding that when “a door opens up you gotta walk through it.”
Andre wouldn’t say what’s on the other side of the door for him, but says he will disclose those plans once finalized. He confirms they involve staying in Baton Rouge, where he has family and a newly renovated home that was damaged in the August 2016 flood.
Andre notified City Pork Group owner Stephen Hightower of his plans two weeks ago. His is the second major departure from the company in as many months. In mid-August, Hightower and former partner Trey Williams parted ways so Williams could focus on the Southfin Southern Poké concept, which had been part of the restaurant group.
Andre’s departure was unrelated to the split between Hightower and Williams.
“It had absolutely nothing to do with that,” Andre says. “This was just about me being led. I love Stephen to death. He is a great mentor and friend. I hope to continue to learn from him.”
Hightower returned the accolades, saying Andre “has done wonders for the restaurant and the restaurant group.”
“I love him like a brother,” Hightower continued. “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t helping to bring Ryan Andre to the next level in his career.”
Andre’s last day with the company is Oct. 12. Hightower plans to hire a new executive chef and has several candidates in mind, but says until then he has great people leading the kitchens of his two restaurants, City Pork Deli and Charcuterie on Perkins Road, and City Pork Bar and Brasserie on Jefferson Highway.
A third restaurant in the group, City Pork Kitchen and Pie, closed in August shortly after Williams and Hightower split.