Chef Todd Stein, who took over the kitchen at TWO Urban Licks in February 2013, is leaving his post as executive chef. Stein is moving back to Chicago to be with his family, and his last day with Concentrics Restaurants will be November 19.
Stein's wife works in Chicago, and he has plans of his own lined up in the Windy City. He said in a phone conversation with Eater Atlanta that "it was too good of an opportunity to pass up," but he isn't ready to divulge specifics.
"It's kind of bittersweet, to be honest, leaving, because I've had such great experiences with [Concentrics's Bob Amick and Todd Rushing]," Stein said. "But I'm so excited — I love my wife and my dog."
Before he leaves Concentrics, Stein will work on Eight Up, the company's forthcoming restaurant in Louisville. Russell Kook, who has served as a sous chef and chef de cuisine under Stein and worked at Midtown Italian restaurant LPC, is in as executive chef for that project.
Stein has cooked in several top kitchens across the country. Before joining TWO Urban Licks, he staged under chef Eric Ripert at New York's Le Bernadin, and he was in charge of kitchens at The Florentine in Chicago, David Burke in Las Vegas, and BANK in Minneapolis. In 2011, he competed on Food Network's Iron Chef America, narrowly losing to Bobby Flay.
In his time at TWO Urban Licks, Stein revamped the menu, focusing on small plates and entrees of "wood-fired meats and fish."
Concentrics PR said in an email a new executive chef is expected to be announced soon: "We have a new chef and will be announcing more details later this week. Stay tuned!"