5Church, the Charlotte-based restaurant that opened at Midtown’s Colony Square in June, is shuffling leadership in the kitchen. After making a splashy hire of James Beard winner RJ Cooper as executive chef in May, a representative for the restaurant now confirms Cooper "has transitioned into the role of consulting chef."
5Church partner Jamie Lynch, a contestant on the forthcoming season of Top Chef, will "continue to spend time in Atlanta and oversee the kitchen here," according to the rep, though he is also splitting time at the restaurant’s outposts in Charlotte and Charleston. It seems "a whole team of sous chefs" is collectively running daily kitchen operations when Lynch is out of town. Further information on reasoning for the change was not available.
Since 5Church opened, it’s received one formal review from local media. Ligaya Figueras of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave the restaurant a one-star rating, saying "it has work to do." However, Atlanta Magazine's Christiane Lauterbach offered a more favorable assessment in an early look.
As for Cooper, a recent tweet indicates he may be eyeing a pop-up venture in addition to his consulting role.
Atlanta. Where are the pop up restaurant spaces?— Chef RJ Cooper (@chefrjdc) September 29, 2016
• James Beard Winner RJ Cooper Is IN at 5Church [EATL]
• Get a Sneak Peek Inside 5Church, Coming Soon to Colony Square [EATL]
• One Star for 5Church, Which Doesn’t Meet Midtown’s Standards [EATL]
• All 5Church Coverage [EATL]