Visitors to Burlington's Bluebird Tavern tonight will get a taste of something unexpected: a new chef. Both Aaron Josinsky and his wife, manager Laura Wade, have left their jobs at the buzzed-about localvore eatery.
In Josinsky's place, Michael Clauss (pictured), late of The Daily Planet and a recent Bocuse d'Or contender, has entered the kitchen. Clauss left the Planet in August "to do his own thing," according to that restaurant's co-owner Copey Houghton. Josinsky — a semi-finalist for a James Beard Foundation award for his work at the Bluebird this year — and Wade could not be reached for comment on what Bluebird owner Sue Bette called "new challenges." They will both continue to tie up loose ends at the eatery's office through this week.
"Laura and Aaron did a tremendous job laying a strong foundation for their leadership," says Bette via phone. "They're certainly an inspiration to our team." When Clauss cooks his first meal at the Bluebird tonight, he will certainly have big shoes to fill, but Bette has no concerns. "The Bluebird is strongly tied to its mission," Bette says of her restaurant, which changes its menu nightly to pay optimal homage to the ingredients that arrive each day.
Though Bette says Clauss plans on putting his own stamp on the Bluebird's cuisine, he plans to keep the menu firmly in line with the aesthetic pioneered by Josinsky. No matter what, Tavern Tuesdays will never be quite the same.