Don't worry, Skillet nation. Josh Henderson, the guy behind your favorite airstream food truck, is still going to stay on in a consultant capacity, which means the brand you've come to love isn't going to change. And neither will Bacon Jam.
But Henderson will no longer be intimately involved in day-to-day operations. "Last December, I decided to partially step away from operations at [Skillet] street food," he says. "I felt like I needed to step away for a number of reasons, but ultimately, I was ready for a new challenge. I never really envisioned myself doing street food/Skillet as some sort of legacy thing; I did it because at that time in my life, I thought it would work and be a great avenue to create. Now that Skillet is humming along and the brand seems fairly set, I feel like it would be a good time to go do other projects that have been interesting me as of late."
Henderson says he will be a partner in a new tavern in Woodinville slated to open next spring/early summer. He won't say where the tavern is located, other than it is next to a distillery, and "there will be whiskey, cornhole, and cheeseburgers and it will be an awesome place to hang out outside in the wine country during the summer and also winter, as we'll have an outdoor fire pit."
Henderson says he's looking for a Seattle location for a couple of other projects that are in the works.
"I love to create and, more importantly, I want to cook more again. I purposely got away from it the last couple of years and now have the ability to go back to it. I know that Skillet is known as a good concept and we have great food as well, but I want to explore a more finessed style of cooking. Perhaps doing all wood-fire cooking someday, that would be my dream space, but we'll see."
As for his baby, Skillet, "It is somewhat like the kids are going off to college. I am excited, a little sad, and hopeful. Skillet is in amazing hands with our CFO, Greg Petrillo, our chef, Brian O'Connor, our designer, Matthew Parker, our marketing guru, Lesa Linster, our catering coordinator, Noah Cooley, and all of our amazing staff. They are focused in the right place and know exactly what I want, what Skillet is rooted in, and more importantly, are better at delivering it in the long term than I would be at this point."
Henderson says he will still be inherently involved in expansion plans and major hiring decisions and is still a large equity holder in the company, "so my long term interest is unwavering. Not to worry. Skillet will deliver and so will I."