Fans of chef Shaun McCrain have just two months left to enjoy his food at the Book Bindery restaurant. After that, they’ll be able to find him at his own place.
McCrain, executive chef since the “under the radar” fine dining spot along the Ship Canal opened four years ago, will leave June 28. He plans to take a break, then start up a new venture with partner Jill Kinney, who is also the Book Bindery’s general manager, co-owner Sumi Almquist said in an email.
“Even as our hearts break a little to write this, we, the owners of Book Bindery, are so grateful and fortunate that Shaun shared his time (four years!) and talents with us.”
The owners had hoped their restaurant would be a launching pad for great chefs, Sumi Almquist said, and they’re looking for a successor to McCrain “with both talent and vision, one who can write the second chapter of Book Bindery according to his/her own personal passion and taste.”
It’s a big job to fill. Providence Cicero wrote that McCrain “cooks with uncommon elegance, focusing flavor with astonishing skill and precision,” while Nancy Leson called the restaurant one of the best in town and McCrain “a Redmond boy and a Seattle Central culinary-school grad who’s since worked in some of the world’s most highly regarded restaurants.” Urbanspoon recently named the Book Bindery to its list of the most popular fine-dining spots in the nation, with Eater editorializing that “the ministrations of chef Shaun McCrain make you forget you’re in the built-out end of a wine warehouse at the foot of the Fremont Bridge.”