Olympia Provisions sent out a formal press release today about the changes at the restaurant. As you probably know, Chef Jason Barwikowski left after a dispute in the direction the business should take. They have also confirmed the retail location in the old Carlyle restaurant spot on NW 16th and Thurman. Not the greatest location in my humble opinion; it will be interesting to see how it all works out.
Here’s the release, with the requisite spin/damage control:
As we enter the holiday season and celebrate our first anniversary this month, we’re experiencing some exciting and challenging new developments at Olympic Provisions.
Most notably, Executive Chef Jason Barwikowski has left Olympic Provisions as of Saturday, Nov. 27, and wine director Carly Laws will depart on December 18th.
“The partnership has decided to go in a separate direction due to creative differences,” said co-owner Nate Tilden. “We respect the hard work and creative contributions they’ve made to Olympic Provisions and hope this is an opportunity for them to pursue their individual interests and continue to share their considerable talent with the food world.”
Longtime Clyde Common Sous Chef Alex Yoder, who trained under Barwikowski at Clyde Common and also worked with both Tilden and Olympic Provisions Salumist Elias Cairo during their tenure at Castagna restaurant, will take the stove on December 15.
“We chose Alex because his food sensibilities are in complete alignment with where Olympic Provisions is,” Tilden said. “His background in Mediterranean flavors and seasonal preparations is already in harmony with the OP kitchen.”
Long-standing Olympic Provisions sous chef Paul Oppliger will continue to anchor the kitchen, while line cook Morgan Wu will move up into her first time sous chef position.
This spring, Olympic Provisions will also take on an exciting new project, Olympic Meats — a wholesale production operation and 850-square foot retail space, to be housed in the former Carlyle space at 1632 NW 16th Street in Northwest Portland’s Alphabet District.
“We started small, to learn how to meld Elias’s creativity with the bureaucratic processes of the Oregon USDA, and we’ve been extremely successful in accomplishing this,” said co-owner Michelle Cairo.
The new facility will increase production abilities, while the retail space will feature an expanded line of charcuterie and cheeses, a simple lunch and dinner menu of sandwiches, salads, rotisserie meats and Schmaltz-roasted potatoes, an oyster bar, and a full bar and retail wine wall.
“We’re growing at a very comfortable rate and I’m proud of our growth,” said Elias Cairo. “I’m also excited to make our products available to a larger audience, so that you can be all over America and be proud to see this handmade Oregon product in meat cases.”
Note: The name on all “Olympic Provisions” stories have been changed to reflect the new name, Olympia Provisions.