Sometimes following chef shuffles can seem like so much inside baseball, but here's one you should sit up and take notice of. Lauded chef Brett Cooper, who was mysteriously and unceremoniously booted out of his role as exec chef at Outerlands earlier this year, has resurfaced -- this time paired with one of the city's most powerful and innovative restauranteurs. That's right: After much industry speculation as to where Cooper would land, Inside Scoop reports he's been scooped up by none other than Daniel Patterson.
Patterson and Cooper have a long history together, dating back to Cooper's nearly three years in the kitchen at Coi. And they're both known for the same kind of personal, playful food -- firmly grounded in tradition and technique, often veggie-driven, utilizing the best local ingredients, but with a point of view that only comes from the chef. That's what makes it exciting to eat in their restaurants. When people complain that cooking isn't an art form, I point to chefs like these as examples of those who have found their culinary voice and have something to say with it.
According to ISSP, Cooper will first start on the line at Ume -- a new concept for the Patterson's Plum restaurant in Oakland. The mostly small plates menu will skew Japanese, with a few entrees like fried chicken and egg ramen and a sticky pork and brown rice bowl with sesame-chile sauce. After a few months at Ume, when it's humming along by itself, Cooper will depart to open his own small TBD spot in the city, which he will co-own with the Patterson Group. Considering the level of talent he displayed at Outerlands, it will be very, very exciting to see what kind of food Cooper will produce with backing and mentorship from Patterson.
As for Kim Alter, the former head chef at Plum, there's no word on her next move yet, though in the interview Patterson suggested she would also be opening her own restaurant in San Francisco.
Pretty exciting news for the San Francisco restaurant world all around.
[via Inside Scoop]