If there really is a curse for being named an Orange Coast restaurant of the year, Fullerton’s adventurous Journeyman’s Food + Drink is the latest victim.
Though executive chef Zachary Geerson insists there’s no curse.
In fact, it’s good news. “My wife and I are moving to Florida to start our family,” he said, planning a return to his home state.
Journeyman’s will officially close Dec. 31 and will be replaced by The Bronze Quail in early January, with a new executive chef and minor alterations to the dining space.
“It’s going to be really refined,” said Geerson, who will be around through summer to help with the transition and menu planning. Bronze Quail will feature a la carte and tasting menus to highlight ingredients such as grass-fed Tasmanian beef, house-made pastas, and gnocchi.
And that curse? Named Orange Coast restaurant of the year for 2019, Journeyman’s was praised for an intricate, inventive menu inspired by the progressive likes of Michelin-level kitchens such as Chicago’s Alinea, Copenhagen’s Noma, and Vespertine in Los Angeles.
And while 2018 restaurant of the year Marché Moderne is seeing much success in its new location and 2017 top pick Mix Mix Kitchen Bar thrives, 2016’s choice Pascal has since closed and 2015’s selection Pueblo continues to operate but without inaugural chef Michael Campbell.
As for his time at Journeyman’s, Geerson says he was humbled to have received so many accolades in such a short time. “How do you have any regrets being one of the best restaurants in Orange County?”