Park Circle’s EVO pizzeria has brought in a new executive chef to help ease the pressure on owners/chefs Matt McIntosh and Ricky Hacker. McIntosh says it’s about being able to step back after six years and take stock and think about where to go from here.

“We’re kicking around ideas, but we’re not expanding with another location of EVO,” says McIntosh, who coyly mentioned that they would, however, be considering a new restaurant with a different concept — most likely in the Park Circle area. To free themselves up, Hacker and McIntosh have tapped Matt Russell, a longtime sous chef from Sean Brock’s stable at McCrady’s, who brings a whole host of new techniques to the EVO kitchen, including sous vide. Russell started a few months back and has been learning the ropes in the tiny EVO kitchen, mastering the oven and the existing menu. McIntosh says Russell will be able to express his creativity with the specials menu. “Matty knows food and has a great palate,” says McIntosh. “The biggest thing is that he’s hardworking, that’s huge in this industry.”

Russell has plans to work with local fishermen to bring in fresh seafood, expand the restaurant’s local farmer contacts, and plan monthly craft beer dinners. As for McInstosh, before he can even think too hard about a second venture, he’s going to be celebrating the birth of his first child in August, another very good reason for hiring a new executive chef to manage and maintain EVO’s excellent reputation.