What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Umstead chef Scott Crawford is leaving to open two new restaurants

Posted May 19, 2014

Chef Scott Crawford (Image courtesy of Scott Crawford)

— Chef Scott Crawford is leaving The Umstead in Cary and plans to open two new restaurants in downtown Raleigh. 

Crawford and John Holmes of Hobby Properties have partnered on both concepts and created the Nash Square Hospitality Group.

The first is Standard Food, a restaurant and grocery store featuring modern twists on traditional Southern comfort food. Crawford told the News and Observer that he wants it to be "a modern version of an old grocery store. You know the butcher. You know the grocer and there's a restaurant."

The 80-seat restaurant will feature items like chilled strawberry soup with yuzu and jalapeno, tomato popsicles with spicy pickled okra, fried rabbit with succotash and fresh bacon with boiled peanut chowder. There will also be some Southern inspired desserts - puddings, pies and peach-ginger sorbet. 

There will also be a 20-seat bar serving up wine by the glass, local craft beer and craft cocktails. 

The specialty grocery will feature local produce from the Raleigh City Farm and North Carolina meat and fish, in addition to some of Crawford's own brines, demi-glace and stocks.  

Standard Food is expected to open in Person Street Plaza this fall in the same location that Market Restaurant had planned to move into. 

Crawford's flagship restaurant, Nash Tavern, is expected to open in 2015 on the south side of Nash Square on Martin Street. It will feature modern American cuisine. 

Crawford has been at The Umstead for five years as their food and beverage director and executive chef of their restaurant, Herons.  He is a three-time James Beard Award semi-finalist. 

Crawford announced his departure via social media Monday morning. 

"I’m proud of my accomplishments in fine dining at luxury properties over the last two decades, and feel especially privileged to have been able to shape such a talented team at The Umstead" Crawford said in a statement. "I’m excited to build on my own ideas – from the ground up – and to pursue concepts that I think are particularly relevant  and integral to our community."

Crawford and Holmes' shared interest in revitalizing downtown Raleigh helped bring them together. 

"This is a critical moment in downtown Raleigh’s growth; with Scott Crawford on board, I’m convinced we can have a powerful impact," Holmes said.

Holmes is credited with successfully revitalizing the Person Street Plaza development with independently owned businesses including Wine Authorities, Yellow Dog and Person Street Bar.

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