All is not well at Twisted RAnCH, St. Louis' palace to one of America's most precious foodstuffs, ranch dressing. The all-ranch restaurant was slated to open at the end of last month, however, its chef walked off the job 20 minutes into Twisted Ranch's soft opening, according to the Riverfront Times. Chef Johnathan Tinker tells the paper that he left "without saying a word" because he felt that owners Jim Hayden and Chad Allen, while "great people," have "no idea what they are doing as owners of a restaurant." Hayden and Allen are both accountants whose culinary experience is "limited to serving."
Tinkers says that trying to open a restaurant with "just 38 days to prepare" was very difficult. So was the cramped space and access to only one deep fryer when much of the menu — which also features 18 types of ranch — is centered around fried foods. Tinker notes: "They had six menu items (not including fries for sides, which happens to be pretty popular) to be deep fried, and one fryer. As soon as all the tickets came in with nothing but fried foods and a kitchen full of untrained cooks, it became apparent that we were in no way ready."
After he left, The Riverfront Times published a story titled, "Twisted Ranch Chef Quit During Soft Opening, Owner Says," in which Twisted Ranch's owners blamed the chef for leaving during their soft opening. A day later, Tinker wrote on his Facebook page: "To quote Benjamin Franklin, 'Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear...' I'd appreciate everyone that felt the need to judge me publicly to know that it doesn't upset me." The paper followed up with Tinker's side of the story.
Owners Hayden and Allen tell the paper they are "sorry that Jonathan left" and that their mission "is to create a wonderful restaurant experience for everyone." For now, the opening is delayed to an undetermined date. Perhaps the duo are taking Tinker's complaints to heart and are rejiggering the menu? The restaurant's website, which used to display a full menu, no longer features a menu page.