Dan Drayer, who has served as executive chef for Talk of the Town Restaurants for nearly 15 years, has left that company. He is leaving Central Florida Tuesday to accept a position as executive chef for Restaurant Works, a Dallas group with restaurants in Texas, Colorado and Georgia.
Drayer, 57, said he will be doing some of the same things he has been doing for Talk of the Town, “opening restaurants, training guys.” But he said the move was desirable because it’s a return to his hometown region where he still has family.
He also is mulling around the idea of returning to school to pursue the field he was studying for before he got pulled into the restaurant business: medicine.
Drayer recently received his master chef’s degree, and he completed a book he cowrote with Charley Woodsby. Drayer said the book is “all about [Woodsby’s] Red Lobster days, all of that history, the Old South and the restaurants he was involved with.” The book, he said, is on its way to a publisher.
Drayer’s last day at ToTT was June 2. Talk’s Seth Miller told me that there currently are no plans to replace Drayer but that his duties will likely be absorbed by others, at least initially. He said Drayer’s leaving was “a big loss. He was a very dynamic individual.”
Restaurant Works’ brands includ Cru - Food & Wine Bar, Victory Tavern City Grille, and a new restaurant called Princi Italia.