Josh Henderson's folks sent word this weekend that chef Zoi Antonitsas is leaving Westward later this month "to pursue other projects." Antonitsas has been the chef ever since the restaurant on Lake Union's northern shore opened in 2013. She suffused the seafood-focused menu with notes from her own Greek heritage, earning the restaurant a host of accolades, including a spot on Bon Appetit's 10 Best New Restaurants list in 2014 and earning herself a spot in Food and Wine's prestigious Best New Chef class of 2015.
The official notice from Westward was full of good wishes, but Antonitsas won't say just yet what she plans to do next. It's a logical assumption she might be opening a place of her own, but at this point it's just that—an assumption. Meanwhile at Westward, Henderson and sous chef Jack Roberts will oversee the kitchen until a permanent successor is announced.
Henderson's certainly got some busy months ahead: His company, Huxley Wallace Collective is also preparing a brasserie in Laurelhurst called Saint Helens, a taqueria called Bar Noroeste at Seventh and Lenora, a trio of spots in South Lake Union, and a host of locations for his new cheeseburger shop, Great State Burger.
Antonitsas has been cooking since her high school gig as summertime prep cook at Dahlia Lounge. Before Westward she was the chef at the excellent Madison Park Conservatory, and cooked in various Bay Area spots (and, yes, she was on Top Chef once upon a time). Whatever's next should be exciting.