Clayton Miller to leave Wit & Wisdom

Just a year after Clayton Miller was lured from Trummer’s on Main to revitalize Wit & Wisdom in Baltimore, the executive chef says he’s leaving the Mid-Atlantic for Florida.

“A great opportunity came around,” says Miller, who recently accepted a job with the restaurant group 50 Eggs, Inc., a collection of dining venues that includes the well-received Yardbird in Miami Beach. Miller will serve in the newly created position of executive chef and culinary director for the company.


Chef Clayton Miller prepares roasted bone marrow at Wit and Wisdom Tavern inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore. (Photo by Lexey Swall/For The Washington Post)

The decision to relocate was based on family considerations, including an expectant wife.  “My wife’s side of the family is in Orlando,” says Miller, who was recognized as one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2010. The departing chef’s work at Wit & Wisdom in the Four Seasons, guided by star San Francisco chef Michael Mina, boosted the dining room to a 2 1/2 star rating in May.

Miller’s last day of service is July 20.

Taking his spot at the stove: Zack Mills, 33, a 2007 graduate of the French Culinary Institute. A veteran of the Michael Mina Group, the Maryland native helped open Bourbon Steak in Washington and went on to become the corporate executive sous chef for Mina on the East Coast.

No major menu changes are expected for the near future; having become better acquainted with their Baltimore audience since the 2011 launch of the restaurant, Mina, Miller and Mills have created a menu that acknowledges both adventurous diners and “someone looking for a simple piece of fish,” says Mina.

The top toque says he was impressed with Mills from the beginning: “I looked at him [for the lead role] when we opened” Wit & Wisdom.

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.

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