Turns out Mangan ― South's faraway executive chef ― had too many other commitments (a new Melbourne restaurant, new book, and a contract with Virgin Australia) to stay personally involved in his S.F. outpost. "Continuing an Australian concept without a serious Australian chef was not an option for the partners," Weinberg said via e-mail. Then, too, the global economic crisis causes the closure of many small food importers South relied on, and the relative strength of the Australian dollar put a squeeze on South's profits.
Weinberg, who was making arrangements to leave for New Zealand to celebrate her mother's 60th birthday, said she and chef Puccio would have details about the new restaurant in early January.