Longtime Worthington Inn chef leaving his post

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

After 13 years as executive chef of the Worthington Inn, Tom Smith announced he'll be leaving the historic restaurant at the end of October.

It wasn't an easy decision, says Smith, who's been a fixture in Columbus kitchens for decades. In his tenure, The Worthington Inn earned a reputation as one of the best restaurants in the city, earning a solid position on the annual Crave 10 list for the last four years.

But after moving his family last year to an old farmhouse an hour north of the city, Smith fell in love with the country. He had been contemplating working closer to home, he says, and plans to open Don Tomasso's Pizza-featuring coal-rised, hand-tossed pies made from scratch-in Upper Sandusky in mid-November.

With talented and tenured chefs in the Worthington Inn kitchen, he says, he knew he could step away. "I didn't want to leave the place in non-capable hands," Smith says.

"Tom will pass the torch next month to long-term Worthington Inn veterans Ben Kanavel, Mike Waters and Cece Fehlhaber," says Worthington Inn owner Carrie Rohyans. "These three talented chefs share chef Tom's passion for serving fresh, seasonal cuisine made with high quality, local ingredients and have over 20 years combined experience in the Worthington Inn kitchen. The restaurant will continue to feature its award-winning farm-to-table cuisine their customers have grown to know and love."