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    Chef Dustin Staggers has made quite a name for himself as the Executive Chef of the Monkey Wrench. Secrets of Louisville Chefs termed him the “King of the Country Kitchen” for his work revamping the menu at the Monkey Wrench and designing their “contemporary hillbilly” fare.

    But Staggers is moving on to run his new restaurant, Roux, (slated to open October 3) and is stepping down as Executive Chef at the Monkey Wrench. “I’m focusing on Roux,” he says, “as well as some other concepts we’re building on right now.”

    Staggers is going to stay on as an Executive Consultant at the Monkey Wrench, designing menus and assisting in event execution. He’s leaving two Sous-Chefs in charge of the Monkey Wrench kitchen, Janelle Hall and Tyler Vogt.

    Staggers formerly worked at 60 West, and says he’s incredibly grateful for the change working at the Monkey Wrench wrought in his career and his life. “I had a wonderful time. It made me rediscover that I loved cooking and I didn’t need to make pretentious food to enjoy cooking and to have other people enjoy it. The first day that our dinner service was insane, there was a real sense of accomplishment for me.” Staggers worked at the Monkey Wrench without pay, on the condition that he was allowed to control the menu and the kitchen in his own way.

    The menu at the Monkey Wrench will change with his departure: “It’s thematically the same as what we were doing before, it’s just smaller,” says Staggers. The menu for the upper deck (called the “Lono Lounge”) will no longer be available as the weather turns colder and fewer want to dine outside.

    Staggers is sad to exit, but confident that “the Wrench will be in good hands. Dennie’s a great guy. My people are great.” 

    Photos courtesy of Dustin Staggers, Roux, and The Monkey Wrench

    Elizabeth Myers's picture

    About Elizabeth Myers

    Big fan of bacon and bourbon, deep fried anything, sweet tea and sweet nothings.

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