Will Johnston leaves Strongwater

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

Chef Will Johnston is no longer cooking in the kitchen of Strongwater Food and Spirits inside the 400 West Rich building in Franklinton. Johnston appears in the summer issue of Crave as part of the 2014 class of Tastemakers.

We got word of the parting of ways late last week from restaurant general managerKris Howell. Howell did not get back to us regarding the reasons behind the split, or who will jump into the opening of head chef.

In a conversation with Johnston this morning, the chef admitted the departure is for the best. He's opted to take a step back from the role of head chef to work under chef Marcus Meacham at the new Kraft House No. 5 in Powell. He's learning a lot, Johnston says, and enjoying the break while figuring out what his next step in Columbus will be.

The 27-year-old Johnston wowed the Crave editoral team earlier this year at Strongwater when the Franklinton bar started serving well-crafted small plates (many of which were vegetarian-friendly)and bar food in January. He was named a Crave Tastemaker and appears on the cover of the summer issue of Crave.