It’s promotion day over at Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, which owns Central Kitchen, Salumeria, Flour + Water, Aatxe, and Cafe du Nord. Founding chef Thomas McNaughton had previously been running the kitchen at Central Kitchen, but he is now assuming the role of CEO and culinary director, while Aatxe executive chef Ryan Pollnow is taking over as the entire group’s executive chef.
“The biggest part of the decision is supporting Ryan’s growth within the company. He’s gone through all the restaurants as chef de cuisine at Flour + Water and Central Kitchen, and executive chef at Aatxe, and it was always his goal and our goal to run the whole company as executive chef,” McNaughton told Eater SF. “It’s time for the next step, and for me as well. There are a lot of things I want to do that this allows me to do as well.”
Those things for McNaughton include finalizing a new cookbook deal, working on the business side of restaurants, and mentoring employees outside the kitchen. Pollnow will still head up the Aatxe kitchen, but he’s building a management team to support him so he can focus on the entire group as well.