John Ash chef leaving

…After 20 years at John Ash and Co., Executive Chef Jeffrey Madura is leaving the restaurant that once defined California cuisine.

According to the restaurant’s owners, Madura’s departure was prompted by health issues in his family and has no immediate plans to move to another kitchen. In his place, Tom Schmidt, a former Californian chef who most recently ran a restaurant in Bremen, Germany. Madura’s last day will be July 31.

Already there’s plenty of rumbling in the foodie community as to what this might mean for the restaurant’s long-term prospects as well as it’s relationship with namesake chef, John Ash. Time will tell. Stay tuned.

…In other news, if you’re a Cafe Japan fan (the jewel-box sushi spot in downtown Santa Rosa), you’ve got through Thurday, June 26 to get your fix. According to co-owner Jennifer Bessette, the restaurant will close for good this week. She and husband Yosuke Saito — both musicians and new parents — are moving on after their lease expires at the end of the month. Bessette told BiteClub the numbers just weren’t working out financially to support their family. The two hope to have another food-related business in the future, but don’t have any concrete plans at the moment.