|Image via ABC|
He issued the following statement to Eater about the situation: "Being a part of ABC's The Taste was a great experience, especially mentoring one of my chefs all the way to the finish line and taking home the win. I am of course disappointed to part ways and not return for season 2, but onward and upward! I'm looking forward to pursuing future television projects and continuing to grow our restaurant group, which has had its most successful year to date. Austin has welcomed Searsucker with open arms and we're excited to open a restaurant in Los Angeles at the end of this year."
[via Eater SD]