José Andrés‘ head bartender Owen Thomson has left Think Food Group, Eater reports. Thomson tells Y&H he’s taking the summer to travel and bartend at friends’ restaurants and bars.
Thomson has been with Think Food Group for two and a half years and helped open America Eats Tavern, the revamped Jaleo, and Andrés‘ restaurants in Las Vegas and Miami.
“I really enjoyed my time there, and I love working for José,” says Thomson, who’s also president of the DC Craft Bartender’s Guild. “I’m just ready to dial back into one space inside of D.C.”
Tomorrow through Saturday, you’ll find Thomson behind the bar at VOLT in Frederick, Md. After that, he’s headed to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, one of the biggest cocktail festivals in the country. In August, Thomson plans to take a vacation in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he’ll drink some mezcal and meet some of the spirit’s producers.
No official plans for where he’ll land at the end of the summer, but he says he wants to end up in a single restaurant where he can spend time behind the bar.