"I really enjoyed my time here with NRG," Bailey, 35, said. "They gave me a bunch of super-amazing opportunities." His work with NRG earned him a variety of honors, including the People's Best New Chef award from Food & Wine magazine, as well as Rising Culinary Star from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.
"We wish Kyle nothing but the best, and we're thankful for all he's done for Birch & Barley. He's led the kitchen for six years -- from opening day -- and we couldn't be more proud of what he and his team have accomplished in that time," said Michael Babin, founder of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group. "We're looking forward to a new chapter for both the restaurant and bar and will have some exciting news to share shortly."
Bailey, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, was ready for something new when Long Shot Hospitality, from Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman and Paul Holder, created the new position for him. "I was never the kind of guy that wanted to sit still for too long," he said.
Carman and Bailey both said they envision the chef bringing some of the same things he was known for at NRG -- whole animal butchery, house-made breads and pastas -- to Long Shot. At least at first, Carman said Bailey's primary focus will be on Sixth Engine, located near Mount Vernon Triangle.
"It's sort of an opportunity for him to come in here and elevate the food," Carman said. "We're definitely trying to let him have free reign with it, have fun with it ... We don't have restraints for him."
Bailey will be overseeing all three concepts, though there are already plans for at least one more new project. He'll be involved in operations for the restaurants in addition to recipe development.
Bailey, who's married to Tiffany MacIsaac, the former NRG executive pastry chef preparing to open her first solo bakery this spring, said his last day at Birch & Barley will be Feb. 7. He'll start with Long Shot about a week later.