When Nathaniel Wade started at Burlington’s ¡Duino! (Duende) late last year, he knew it wouldn’t be forever. After a little more than seven months at the restaurant, the chef worked his last day there on Sunday, July 3. “Lee [Anderson, the restaurant’s owner] had hired me as a consultant,” says Wade. “I realized that the restaurant needed a chef. As chef, I helped the restaurant go into a direction it needed to go in. Now it’s running pretty much on its own. Me leaving isn’t a negative thing, it’s a positive thing.”
Wade says that, for now, the menu at ¡Duino! will stay the same, as will the low prices. No new chef will arrive. When the culinary staff, led by longtime kitchen manager Ren Walden, does change the menu, Wade will be happy to help. “I’ve offered Ren and Lee all the support I can,” he says.
What’s next for the chef who was nominated this year for a James Beard Foundation award? Though Wade isn’t certain where he’ll land permanently, he plans to remain in Burlington. “Whatever happens next is going to continue in the same style I’ve been doing,” he adds. “I have some projects I’m working on, and those are going to be exciting when they come to fruition.” Our taste buds are tingling.