Changes are afoot at the Kimpton Aertson Hotel’s Henley, as Eater Nashville has gotten word that opening chef RJ Cooper has left his post at the six-month-old Midtown restaurant.
Cooper, who was once a fixture in the Washington, D.C. restaurant scene, winning a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 2007, sent Eater the following brief statement about the move: “I have the greatest respect and regard for the owners and the team at Henley and wish them good luck. At this time I’m going to pursue other passions and projects.”
Representatives for Henley provided Eater Nashville with a similar statement, saying that “based on a mutual understanding, RJ Cooper is no longer executive chef at Henley. Kimpton thanks RJ for his service and wishes him the best.”
Cooper landed in Nashville in late 2016 to work on the opening of Henley, after working on projects in Atlanta and Charlotte. It’s too soon to tell if his “passions and projects” might lead him outside of Middle Tennessee, but be sure to check back for more intel.
Additionally, the search is currently on for a new executive chef at the restaurant, so check back in for updates on that as well.