ON A ROLL
There must be a reason the word "roll" appears in Rollie Wesen's name: He just seems to roll from kitchen to kitchen. Just yesterday, I had a post on this blog telling you he was at Via Italian Trattoria & Bar in Denver. Scratch that.
No sooner than I could say whisk, he will be leaving there by the end of the month, less than six months after taking the job. That update from his wife, Claudine Pepin. "It's amicable," she said. "We needed to move on and it's fine."
As a refresher, Wesen came to Colorado Springs from Portland, Ore., to be executive chef at the Summit at The Broadmoor. There was much hullabaloo surrounding his arrival because he is the son-in-law of celebrity chef Jacques Pepin. He never really got much of a chance to heat up a saute pan before it was announced he was leaving that position. The Broadmoor press release explained that "he wanted to move back east to be nearer family." However, when I talked to Wesen he said, "No, I love Colorado and want to stay here. We (he and The Broadmoor) have creative differences."
Then, he landed that job in Denver, again with a lot of media buzz about his famous in-law.
I'm not sure what's really going on: whether he's not living up to expectations, or getting too restless and can't stay in one place. Whatever the reason, he's building a reputation of job hopping. I think he should try to downplay his connection to Jacques Pepin, take a chef job without divulging the identity of his father-in-law, then do good work and build his own cooking reputation.
"We just want to get a job," said Claudine, "in a hotel, maybe."