Not two days after the critically adored Nick Balla announced he's leaving Mission izakaya Nombe for a new project, we learn chef Vincent Schofield is going to smooth out the transition by stepping into the executive chef role in the New Year. Schofield's name probably rings a bell from his days rolling with the tides over at Ebb & Flow and then making a little splash over at Darwin Cafe. But there will be no room for dorky ocean analogies when he takes over at Nombe.
All business, Schofield is going to take a trip to Japan before he gets started. As it happens, he also goes way back with owner Mari Takahashi to the Izakaya Sozai days. They even did something at Mission Street Food once together. So everyone should get along just fine. As for Mr. Balla, we'll let you know where he lands after his 2011 Japanese research adventure. [EaterWire]