Andrew Weinzirl, the co-owner and executive chef at Maggie's Farm, is leaving the Harford Road restaurant to take the executive chef position at Encantada, the restaurant in development at the American Visionary Art Museum.
Weinzirl said that he and his longtime fiancee, Laura Marino, are selling their share of Maggie's Farm to their co-owner and partner, Matthew Weaver, and his wife, Andrea Weaver.
Weinzirl took over the kitchen at what was then the Chameleon Cafe in the spring of 2012. With Marino and Matthew Weaver as his partners, Weinzirl bought Chameleon from its owner and founding chef Jeff Smith later that year. It was renamed Maggie's Farm shortly after the purchase.
The three partners were featured on a 2013 episode of the Food Network reality show "Restaurant Divided," which depicted Weinzirl as torn between the competing visions for Maggie's Farm held by Marino and Weaver. In the end, there was compromise. The menu was still rooted in the farm-to-table ethos that Marino wanted but was expanded to include Southern-influenced small plates that Weaver wanted.
Since then, Maggie's Farm has continued to distance itself gradually from the Chameleon Cafe. The menu is more casual now, and a seated bar has been installed, courtesy of a "Restaurant Divided" makeover, at the back of the main dining room.
More changes are coming, Weaver said, but he he won't be taking things too far.
"Our focus is still going to be on farm-to-table food," Weaver said. "But we want to do more things like Asian and Mexican style street food. And we still want to keep our prices reasonable."
Weinzirl said he will miss Maggie's Farm. "Matt and I have worked day in, day out together," Weinzirl said. "And my family lived above the restaurant. This is just a really exciting opportunity. The Visionary deserves a really great restaurant. It's a really big site."
Timothy Hogan, currently the sous-chef at Maggie’s Farm, will take over executive chef duties from Weinzirl, according to Matthew Weaver.