Anthony Zappola Departs Craft, John Keenan Steps Up To Executive Level

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Zappola Photo: Craft

Last night's Spanish masters event at The SLS Hotel was chef-studded (Neal Fraser, Joaquim Splichal, Vic Cassanova, and we think Voltaggio was in the house under a hat next to Waylynn Lucas). After cobbling together SBE's hefty parking fee, we spotted talented toque Anthony Zappola, who let us know that, as of the first of January, he is no longer cooking at Craft, following seven years with the company, which included a stint in Dallas before opening Century City's location. Unlike Colicchio's drama in New York, which recently found chef Shane McBride bailing Colicchio & Sons and shuffle rumors surrounding Damon Wise at Manhattan's Craft, both Zappola and the restaurant tell us his split was planned and amiable. The chef explains that he values his time there but is looking forward to doing something different, perhaps concentrating on his own cuisine, while a Craft rep hints that he might be forming his own company. John Keenan, Craft's head sous chef, has stepped up to the executive position, while acclaimed pastry chef Shannon Swindle is still firmly in place.