Chef de Cuisine Justin Basye Departing Stella Sola

Categories: Restaurant News

justinbasye-thumb-250x375.jpg
Photo by Fabio
Basye is leaving Stella Sola to further sharpen his skills.
It's a day for kitchen shakeups across Houston.

First came the news from the Houston Chronicle that Michael Kramer is ending his partnership with The Tasting Room. And now, Justin Basye has also announced that he's leaving Stella Sola after a year and a half of exceptional cooking as the restaurant's chef de cuisine (as well as day-to-day man-in-charge) and a James Beard Award nomination.

This afternoon, I received a call from Bryan Caswell, one of the co-owners of Stella Sola, informing me that Basye had just put in his two weeks notice, as it were. It's wholly amicable, as far as these things go, but Caswell called it "a bittersweet situation." I agree.

Basye is leaving not for any one kitchen in particular, but to stage and work at places like Revival Market -- the market shares his affinity for charcuterie, after all -- and how can you blame a young chef for wanting to grow and develop his skills even further?

"It's been a real pleasure to watch him in the past year and a half," Caswell said. "He's really progressed in that time."

On the other hand, Caswell is just as excited about Basye's replacement, Adam Dorris. Dorris might be most familiar to our readers as part of the two-man team behind the popular Ghetto Dinners that were once held at Grand Prize Bar.

Caswell commented on the pool of great, young talent that Houston has in abundance, Dorris being just one of the many up-and-comers who'll likely be making names for themselves in coming years. "I just hope they keep their heads on straight, like Justin has always done," Caswell chuckled.

And while it's certainly sad to see a talented chef leave one of your favorite restaurants, at least I know now to always trust my sources, many of whom had been saying for months that Basye's departure from Stella Sola was imminent.

I wish him luck, and can't wait to see where he pops up next.



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Location Info

Stella Sola - CLOSED

1001 Studewood, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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13 comments
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1annie1
1annie1

OK, you win. The Heights neighborhood is fab. I was mistaken and will take all my lashes in wet noodles. Thank you for putting me in my place. Clearly, I'm not from Houston and was snarky in my comments about such a glorious neighborhood. Enjoy!

go analog, baby
go analog, baby

Man, I love the internet, but some folks need to scale back the anonymous cynicism. I think it's fair to say that everything will not exactly (as in 100%) fit everyone's idiosyncracies and tastes, but, you know, maybe you shouldn't shit all over it just because it does. It goes for neighborhoods and parts of town, and it goes for restaurants.As far as I go, I'm a fan of (a) Stella Sola, (b) Bryan Caswell, (c) Justin Basye, and (d) Adam Dorris. I'm excited to see what Justin goes onto next, as I am to watch all the talented young chefs our city is producing seemingly by the truckload these days. And I wish Bryan and Adam (whose Ghetto Dinners were a highlight of my Grand Prize nights for a while) all the best. I'll definitely give the new team a try once they're in place. Just sayin', but y'all probably should as well.

MadMac
MadMac

GAB, excellent display of civility and maturity.

fallen souffle
fallen souffle

a few points:

Basye is a kid. I'll give him credit for recognizing when he was in over his head at SS. And for pursuing what he does best.The SS hype is over, so he's getting out at the right time (assuming it was actually HIS decision, and he was not ousted). Plus, he needs a lot more experience before he attempts to run a restaurant again.

Regarding Caswell: "Caswell commented on the pool of great, young talent that Houston has in abundance...(quoting Caswell) I just hope they keep their heads on straight..." So, let me try to understand this – now Caswell is an "elder statesman" among Houston chefs? A mentor? The culinary voice of our city? It's up to him to decide whether or not a chef is keeping his or her head on straight? Child, please... there are probably one or two chefs in Houston who have earned this right, and Mr. Caswell is certainly not among them. His statements smack of arrogance, which he has aplenty.

Adam Dorris? Ghetto Dinners? Grand Prize? Do what...!?

Pork Dumpling
Pork Dumpling

Hey fallen douche, who died and made you culinary king? Your comments are arrogant and NOT shared by most of the amazing Houston restaurant community. What kind of a person disrespects people who try to make the most of their city by putting it on the culinary map. Go hate somewhere else....

1annie1
1annie1

What is so wonderful about the Heights? You assume the hip folks live there, but I think it's a pit. Narrow streets, bar ditches and high crime. What's so special about that place over Montrose, or Southwest Houston? Really. The Heights is immensely overrated.

rawchester
rawchester

I'll never live in the Heights nor the increasingly popular GOOF, but it's easy to recognize that both have the feel of a small Texas town, adjacent to bigcity amenities like good restaurants such as Stella Sola and Plonk a short drive or walk away.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

No one even mentioned the Heights before you brought it up. Are you sure you're complaining in the right thread?

Maureen Hall
Maureen Hall

sorry, no high crime here- just a neighborhood where you know your neighbors, live in old houses that you cherish and can walk to many fine restaurants and stores.... hip or not, I love living here!

Beto
Beto

You live in a fanciful version of the Heights, cruise down around 20th Street and beyond, you'll be locking your doors and looking for your dear neighbors.

Peggy
Peggy

*cries bitter salumi tears* I wish Justin all the best but am going to miss his cooking. Look forward to learning to love Adam's meals just as much.

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