It's a coup for Starr. Jimenez is extremely highly regarded.
We remember what restaurateur Steven Cook (Xochitl, Zahav, Percy Street) had to say about Jimenez in Craig Laban's 2007 review of Xochitl:
If you have already tasted the sublime seviche of watermelon and scallops at the new Mexican restaurant called Xochitl, then you might understand Steven Cook's reaction last year to a tasting meal at Dionicio Jimenez's home: "I wanted to be in the Dionicio business."So Starr has now got Jimenez (who was part owner of Xochitl along with Cook and Michael Solomonov) to helm the Midtown Diner project, which we feel like Starr wants to take in a La Esquina -esque direction.
Meanwhile, Xochitl will close on February 7 for a two-week renovation and re-open with a new chef and a brand new menu that's already finalized.
How do you like them apples?
Xochitl chef quits for Starr project [ The Insider - Philly.com ]
Xochitl - The Aztec name means "flower," and the chef's talent has blossomed since his arrival, penniless, from Mexico nine years ago. At their best, his creations are vivid and stunningly original. [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]