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New chef at Saltwater Smokehouse

By Staff | Jun 24, 2020

Asian avocado burger. PHOTO PROVIDED

Saltwater Smokehouse owner Michael Flynn said for the time being, everything will be “business as usual” at his restaurant. Having recently changed the kitchen staff won’t change the menu, promised Flynn.

“Andrew was my partner for the past four or so years,” said Flynn, speaking of Andrew Hamilton, his former chef and business partner. “He tweaked some of the recipes and added some of his own, making the menu more of what he wanted. He did an excellent job.”

Although Flynn appreciated all of Hamilton’s meticulous attention to the menu, he understands that life sometimes pulls you in another direction as he sets his sights on the future of the restaurant. Jesse McHenry, who has been a chef at the restaurant for the past several years, is expected now, by Flynn, to put his own stamp on the kitchen. Flynn said he looks forward to McHenry’s natural evolution over time, adding that people can expect exactly what they’re used to when they come in.

Flynn said his own optimism has swayed him toward taking the building off the market, as it’s been for sale for some time.

“I’m extremely optimistic about what we’ve done here, as well as what we can do,” said Flynn.

One of the featured dishes at the Saltwater Smokehouse is prime rib. PHOTO PROVIDED

McHenry, who is from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has been cooking professionally since he was 15 years old. He said he plans to tweak and revamp, promising the food will be as delicious as it’s always been.

Flynn said they are in the midst of hiring someone, assuring McHenry will have the proper help.

This year was particularly hard, Flynn said, explaining that he makes most of his money during February, March and April.

“But I am really looking forward to everything we can do here,” said Flynn. “We can’t look back now, we have to just move forward.”

For additional information about the Saltwater Smokehouse, which is located at 10251 Stringfellow Road, St. James City, call 239-282-8811.