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Game Chef de Cuisine OUT After Just Three Months

Plus: Rose Pistola's ambitious new chef, and a chef hire at Citizen Fox.

Rose Pistola

UNION SQUARE— In an abrupt move, chef Zack Freitas is out at Game Restaurant, effective immediately. The concept from Sachin Chopra and Shoshanna Wolff (owners of Michelin-starred All Spice in San Mateo) opened at the end of 2014, earning only mediocre reviews from critics (and in fact, was deemed "not worth a review" at all by The Chronicle's Michael Bauer). In a statement from the restaurant, chef-owner Chopra  will "take the reins in the kitchen," though he has "nothing but respect for Zack." Although the split between Freitas and Chopra is described as amicable, Chopra is also quoted as saying, "I'm happy to be able to execute my original vision for Game," indicating that perhaps the "identity crisis" identified by Josh Sens was a problem from the very start. Sous chef Jason Murphy and pastry chef Rodrigo Ormachea will remain on board, managing kitchen operations as Chopra works to roll out a new menu in the coming weeks. [EaterWire]

MISSION— Meanwhile, veggie lovers will be pleased to know that Kevin Schuder has been brought on as the executive chef at Citizen Fox, the plant-based restaurant, bar and brewery heading to the Mission this spring. Schuder has honed his vegetable cookery at various Bay Area restaurants like Millennium, though most recently, he showcased his serious veg-centric skills at Veg 388, a pop-up hosted by Oakland's normally meat-heavy Kitchen 388. Schuder joins restaurateur Deborah Blum (Starbelly/Beretta), Master Cicerone and brewmaster Rich Higgins, bar consultant Chris Lane (Ramen Shop) and general manager Danielle Seiple. Expect a series of preview dinners in February, as the team works toward an opening in spring/summer of 2015. [EaterWire]

NORTH BEACH— Finally, Steve Walker has been brought on as the new executive chef of North Beach's Rose Pistola. The hire marks the first time since 1996 that Rose Pistola has hired an executive chef from outside their own kitchen. Walker, who was most recently at Corso in Berkeley, has also cooked with Craig Stoll and Roland Passot. He plans to preserve and "elevate" some of Rose Pistola's classic dishes, but it also sounds like he'll be trying to improve its status beyond "neighborhood favorite," bringing in whole-animal butchery, an in-house salumi program and handmade pastas inspired by his travels in Tuscany. [EaterWire]

Game Restaurant

648 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Rose Pistola

532 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 399-0499 Visit Website

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