Chef Carolynn Angle, who led the kitchen at the pioneering Northern Liberties gastropub Standard Tap for 16 years through the rise of the craft beer and local-food movements, is stepping down Nov. 18.
"It's not the place; it's just me," said Angle, on good terms with owners Paul Kimport and William Reed. She attributed her decision to a "combination of a few things. My mother needs me right now. I'm one of the only siblings who are available, and I'm also just a little weary with the industry."
Angle had back surgery two years ago, which sidelined her for four months and forced her to take stock of the future.
Joel Mazigian, whose kitchen stops include Franky Bradley's, Pumpkin, Lemon Hill, and Milkboy, will become Standard Tap's chef. He is a proponent of whole-animal butchery - house-made sausages and cured meats - and using local products. "I think Standard Tap is a great outlet for that," he said.
Angle, now 44, started part time in mid-2000 - about eight months after Standard Tap's opening. She relieved Kimport, who even back then was sourcing local produce and meats and especially local draft beers.
< Angle's creative blackboard menus seemed to change daily, a marked difference from the upscale Center City restaurant scene she came from. She had been a sous chef at the old Striped Bass and then chef at Fishmarket, both Neil Stein restaurants.
"I always believed in what we were doing here," she said. "I've also worked with good people - a dedicated staff of people. It's the relationship part of the business that I'll miss."
Notable among Angle's relationships was her bond with Mary Seton Corboy, founder of Greensgrow, the Kensington garden and community kitchen. Corboy's death in August after a long fight with cancer "really kicked me in the butt," Angle said.
Among Angle's memories is "watching the local movement happen and bloom and blossom," she said. She also said she watched the neighborhood change - "for the better and sometimes for the worse" - and helped train a slew of cooks and chefs along the way.
"I'm not sad about it," she said. "It's time to go, for myself."
Meanwhile, Kimport and Reed are proceeding with plans to open their third location, after Johnny Brenda's.