Kelly Fletcher Named Executive Chef at Virtù Honest Craft

Nikki BuchananMay 17, 2023
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Chef Kelly Fletcher
Chef Kelly Fletcher

Gio Osso, chef-owner of Virtù Honest Craft, Pizzeria Virtù and the new Piccolo Virtù, has been busy building his Old Town empire, and, as you can imagine, his life gets pretty hectic when his presence is required at three places at once. The man needs a little help, and he’s getting it from a friend — namely, chef Kelly Fletcher — who has taken the reins at Virtù Honest Craft, Osso’s flagship and (let’s admit it) his baby. Fletcher has already been on board for weeks, settling in and working (sometimes in collaboration with Osso) on updating the menu.

Fletcher, you might recall, has been the presiding chef at any number of prominent restaurants over the years, including House of Tricks, Zen Culinary, El Chorro, Tuck Shop and, most recently, Genuine Concepts, where he operated as regional chef in charge of menu creativity.

For months, Osso had been drooling over Fletcher’s Instagram posts of the dishes he was creating for Genuine, and suddenly, a light bulb went off in his head: “This food looks Virtù-esque,” he said to himself, so he called his old friend and offered him a job. “I need someone strong,” Osso says, “Someone who can continue the vision.” He admits that he doesn’t view Fletcher as an employee (although, of course, he is one) but as a friend and equal.

For Fletcher’s part, he’s delighted to be taking a more holistic approach, considering the whole menu rather than creating features and what he calls “one-offs.”

“It’s Kelly’s show,” Osso says. “He’s going to do his thing,” admitting in the next breath that two signature dishes — the grilled octopus and the thoroughly decadent asparagus (with duck egg, bacon candy and foie gras hollandaise) are probably never changing or going anywhere. Whew! Customers (including me) would be mighty upset.

New to the menu: Hamachi crudo, blood orange, black grapes, cilantro, serrano chiles
New to the menu: Hamachi crudo, blood orange, black grapes, cilantro, serrano chiles

The two are debating whether to stick with the prix fixe menu that’s been in place since the pandemic, go back to an a la carte menu, or offer both. Osso swears they’ll figure it out soon.

The two chefs are alike in that they “keep moving,” according to Fletcher. “I don’t get complacent,” he says. “There’s always a better idea, a blank canvas every day.” Osso agrees, adding, “People often ask me what my favorite dish on the menu is. I always tell them ‘The next one.’”

Osso notes that Virtù will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on June 13 and adds, “We’re refreshing the brand. I’m excited for the next chapter.”


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