After a few tumultuous years, chef Jenn Louis is finally throwing off the apron. The former Top Chef Masters contestant and James Beard semifinalist just posted on Facebook saying she will put her Israeli restaurant Ray up for sale and is “ready to move on.” It sounds like she’s not staying in food service at all; she writes, “After twenty-five years in this industry, and nineteen as sole proprietor of my own catering business/restaurants proudly serving the Portland community, I am ready for my next chapter.”
Earlier this year, Louis went public discussing years of emotional abuse with her former husband and business parter, David James Welch. She wrote a piece on Medium discussing the period as a response to her 2016 arrest for domestic violence, after punching Welch in the face during service at the now-shuttered Lincoln. Louis also made headlines after posting a picture of fried chicken to “honor” the anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. She was nominated for a James Beard this year for her cookbook, The Book of Greens, and was a semifinalist for Best Chef: Northwest twice at the James Beard Awards.
Correction: This story has been corrected to show that Ray is up for sale. It’s unclear whether the restaurant will close or simply change ownership.