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Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., Nov. 17
Typically, reporting a chef move entails talking about what the incoming chef will bring to his new kitchen. In this latest report from the local toque shuffle, there’ll be none of that. Tim “T.K.” Kolanko, former chef de cuisine for The Lodge at Torrey Pines’ award-winning fine dining restaurant A.R. Valentien, just announced he’s accepted a new position. He’ll be hanging his hat at The Fishery (5040 Cass Street) …but it won’t be headgear of the tall, white variety.
T.K. is coming to the PB sustainable seafood destination as their new general manager. In doing so, he is reuniting with executive chef Paul Arias. The duo both helped open The Lodge back in 2002, and amassed the majority of their culinary skills under the highly respected executive chef and local farm-to-table champion, Jeff Jackson.
Due mostly to his involvement in tandem with Jackson as a member of high-profile San Diego chef collective Cooks Confab, T.K. gained a good deal of notoriety among local dining enthusiasts. Name recognition and a full decade at the same spot (an eternity in the restaurant industry) make this move a bit surprising and reminiscent of when another Confab chef, Brian Sinnott, resigned from another popular hotel, The Hotel Del Coronado, to pursue a job outside the kitchen environment.
Sometimes, even the best of chefs tire of the back of the house, or feel a pull to a different segment of the industry. In Sinnott’s case, it’s worked out just fine. He’s currently an account representative for L.A. & San Francisco Specialty Produce and consulting chef, and enjoying the work. With any luck, T.K. will find similar success and satisfaction in his new venture.
He says he's always wanted to be a restaurateur, so this next chapter isn't that out-of-rhythm with his ultimate career goals. He is particularly excited about creating a wine list that showcases international varietals and pairs nicely with Arias' dishes. Speaking of Arias, he has assured T.K. there will be a chef's coat hanging on a hook in the kitchen should his new GM start going through cooking withdrawal.