BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Despite appearing on a popular television show, a Baton Rouge restaurant has announced its shuttering its doors. The now well-known chef had one final request from the community at the conclusion of his letter.
"On Sunday, March 4, 2018, The Pelican House will serve our last guests and close our doors for good," Chef Gavin Jobe wrote in a statement posted to the company's Facebook page. "Our recent transition from a bar to a restaurant has been beneficial, and was a push in the direction that we see the Baton Rouge food scene headed, but it has not been quite enough."
The statement cites the location as primary problem.
"A difficult location, unfavorable lease conditions, and unforeseen costly building repairs are all influencing factors in our decision, but the biggest single factor is passion," the statement continues.
Jobe explains that his time has been split between The Pelican House and Meribo, his restaurant in Covington.
"I have been splitting my time and spreading myself thin," he explains. "I have left myself no time for personal growth in the trade I have loved my whole life – cooking."
Jobe described his history and love for cooking when he competed on the Food Network's hit television show "Chopped."
'It's with a heavy heart, but a clear mind, that I have made the decision to focus my efforts at Meribo and push myself to grow as a chef and a restaurateur," he said.
But it's not just work on which he hopes to focus his energy.
"Besides pushing myself to grow as a chef, I want to grow as a husband and father," he added. "My fiancée and our child deserve more of my time, and there isn't enough of it to go around. There is a growing trend of people in our industry talking about work/life balance – and I hope it continues.
Jobe concluded his statement with a request from the community.
"Baton Rouge, my hometown, I love you – but I implore you to raise your culinary standards," he said. "There are a few great chefs in this town making great food. Support those people! Stop flocking to chain restaurants, stop asking chefs to change their menus, and stop accepting mediocrity. Ask for seasonal, local (when it makes sense), creative food, and embrace the chefs and restaurants who deliver it to you. We are only an hour away from New Orleans, one of the greatest food cities on Earth, and often times it is hard to tell. Go there, eat the food, and come back with those expectations."