11/05/2012 02:08:00 PM

Chez TJ's Joey Elenterio Speaks: Flies Coop for Something "Bigger and Better"

Like the big guns before him - Christopher Kostow (Meadowoood), Bruno Chemel (Baume) and Joshua Skenes (Saison) - the latest top toque at Mountain View's fine-dining haunt Chez TJ has departed. However, unlike some of the previous high-profile break ups, the departure by 30 Under 30 Chef and foie-gras advocatJoseph Elenterio which was originally reported by the The Inside Scoop was precipitated by the young chef himself, not by the management. We reached Elenterio by phone this morning who told us that he was "grateful for the tremendous opportunity" to work at Chez TJ but that he was "ready to move onto something bigger and better." Elenterio explains, "I was started to get the feeling that I was being held back. There is only so much you can do with an older restaurant with such as small kitchen staff and a small menu. I'm ready to do something on a grander scale."

Although the paper reports that Chez TJ owner George Aviet says he was "surprised" by the decision, conceding "a lot of chefs that have a lot of talent come here and get recognized, then they like to go on their own," Elenterio tells us that he gave his notice to Aviet for the end of December but then decided to cut ties earlier. His last day at the restaurant was last Tuesday. While the search for the next P.Y.T. goes on down at Chez TJ, Elenterio says he has no immediate plans but is waiting to see what comes next. At the moment, he seems content playing tourist in San Franciscan and has been busy Instagramming photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf crab tanks and the likes on his Twitter page.

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