Not so long ago, several members of the Philly fooderati and a couple restaurateurs hatched a plan — over drinks, of course — to organize a field trip to Negril, Jamaica and check in on Chef David Ansill. You’ll recall the former chef and owner behind dearly departed dining spots Pif and Ansill Food + Wine relocated there last winter to start anew, taking on the culinary operations at Wild Parrot Guest Cottages, and to tap into that, you know, irie vibe the island nation is so famous for enthusiastically embracing. Save for a smattering of status updates on Facebook — one of which was a totally awesome picture of the chef sitting side-by-side with Godfather of Dub, Lee “Scratch” Perry — Ansill was mostly awol since departing Philly. Now those plans have been scrapped, because Ansill’s back home, and it looks like he’s sticking around for a while.
The Insider confirmed yesterday rumors of Ansill’s repatriation. He’s back, and is taking over the kitchen at Bar Ferdinand. According to Eater, the NoLibs Spanish tapas joint’s owner, Owen Kamihira, helped finance Ansill’s return, after he was left, ahem, high and dry in Negril when Wild Parrot’s owner flew the coop. At Bar Ferdy, he will breath new life into the menu, gradually, we’re told, adding what’s been described as a more authentic touch to it.