Tom Berry to Leave Temple Bar

The Boston foodie world is in a tizzy over the rumor that Tom Berry, chef of Temple Bar, is on the outs with the bustling Cambridge haunt. Ever-vigilant Chowhounders, scouring restaurant-industry job boards, noticed it first, spotting an ad seeking a new executive chef for the restaurant. (Apply here.)

What was the story? Irreconcilable gastronomical differences? A prep-station blowout gone horribly wrong? An insistence by management that Berry switch to (gasp!) frozen fries?

To find out, we called the man himself.

No, Berry says, armed guards were not required to escort him out of the kitchen. In fact, he says he’ll be sticking around Temple Bar until the end of March, when he’ll leave to become executive chef at the brand-new Great Harbor Yacht Club in Nantucket, slated to open in July. The parting, he adds, has been devoid of hard feelings.

“These are the best restaurateurs I’ve ever worked for,” says Berry, who’s been at the helm of the Temple Bar kitchen for 3 1/2 years. “I really appreciate the time I’ve had to grow personally and professionally.” Berry says that one big plus with the new gig is that he’ll get to spend the off-season traveling, looking for new culinary inspirations.

If you’re already planning to stop by mid-July to check out the new restaurant (well, restaurants…there’s a high-end dining room and a more casual one downstairs) and the menu Berry will be developing over the next few months, you may be out of luck, however. The Great Harbor Yacht Club is super-exclusive, and there’s already a 10-year waiting list for membership.

What do you think? Should beloved chefs be allowed to skip town to work at exclusive restaurants on the Islands, or should they be forced (by the government?) to continue serving us the food we love in a location that’s convenient?

Go ahead…sound off here.