(TUCSON, Ariz.) — As it prepares for its grand opening next month, The Abbey today announced the appointment of Virginia Wooters as executive chef. Wooters, who has overseen the kitchen operation in restaurants from Tucson to Portland, will be responsible for directing The Abbey’s meal preparation and managing a kitchen staff of ten at the foothills’ newest eatery.
Wooters brings nearly two decades of culinary experience to The Abbey. She served as executive chef at local restaurants including McClintock’s and Wildflower Grill, and was the lead line cook at the Dish. She also served as executive chef at Sweet Oregon Grill in suburban Portland, Oregon, and a demo chef at Tucson’s Canyon Ranch.
“Effectively running the kitchen at The Abbey will go way beyond qualifications and capabilities,” said Brian Meztger, who, together with his wife Sandy, own both The Abbey and Jax Kitchen. “While those are essential elements, it was important for us to find someone who also shared our passion for great food,” he continued. “It didn’t take long for us to see that all roads pointed directly to Ginny Wooters.”
The Metzgers first met Wooters ten years ago when they all worked together at Wildflower Grill, and, recognizing her star power, closely followed her culinary career. According to Metzger, the reunion is something that Southern Arizonans will soon celebrate.
Wooters has long held the vision that a memorable culinary experience must be food-centric. While she agrees that setting and service are also of paramount importance, it was the Metzgers’ focus on the potential and passion for food that intrigued her. “The opportunity to work with Brian and Sandy in a setting where food is central is exciting,” she said. “It’s every chef’s dream to work in a place that is food-forward, and The Abbey will be exactly that place. It will be my privilege to demonstrate precisely what that means to our guests each and every night.”
Both Brian and Sandy Metzger, as well as Wooters herself, grew up in Tucson, but later left for other locations across the country to study their crafts. “Now that we’ve come back to Tucson, we can take all of those varying points of view and combine them into something new, something that we’re truly passionate about, in a community that we love,” said Metzger.
About The Abbey
Opening in October, The Abbey will offer distinctive American comfort food in a warm, neighborhood setting. The Abbey will be the second eatery in Tucson owned by family restaurateurs Brian and Sandy Metzger, who also own and operate Jax Kitchen on North Oracle Road. The Metzgers conceived of the Abbey as an extension of their well-known local brand, which centers on exceptional food and personal service – creating an intimate atmosphere that invites guest to forget everything else for an hour or two and enjoy themselves.
The restaurant is located on the southeast corner of Sunrise and Kolb, overlooking Ventana Canyon. Guests will enjoy spectacular foothills views from virtually every seat in the restaurant, whether they choose to sit in the main dining room, bar, or unique, wrap-around patio.
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