Thai restaurant Kin Khao is saying goodbye to opening chef Michael Gaines (Manresa, Central Kitchen). Inside Scoop reports he "will be slowly stepping back from day-to-day operations over the course of the next several months" and Narciso Salvador (Central Kitchen, Ame and Yuzuki) will be promoted to chef de cuisine. No word yet on what's next for Gaines, but it's likely he'll take on his own project somewhere in San Francisco.
Barbacco is also getting a new chef de cuisine. Bay Area native Miguel Pfeffer who has been at the Perbacco's casual trattoria next door since it opened in 2010 has worked his way up the ranks, according to Inside Scoop. The menu will stay the same, but diners will be able to see Pfeffer's love of the regional cuisines of Italy in Barbacco's monthly rotating regional Italian menu. This month "will focus on Italy's Campania region with dishes like fried carnaroli rice croquettes with ragu Napoletano and a Neapolitan fish and shellfish stew with tomatoes, garlic, chili pepper and white wine."
The tides are changing in the port of Oakland as well. Geoff Davis (Cyrus, Haven) who was part of The Dock in Oakland's opening team is onboard to serve as the new chef de cuisine for The Dock and Beer Shed at The Dock. Inside Scoop reassures fans of the Caesar Popcorn that it's not going anywhere though Davis will put some new items on the menu, like "crispy potatoes with charred octopus, olive tapenade, wild fennel and preserved lemon" and "squash a la plancha with queso fresca, pepitas, pickled tomatillo, serrano and epazote." Tayler Buffington (Michael Mina, Range) will also be taking over as head bartender.
Le Colonial, which in recent years has become more of a tourist and party spot, hopes to become relevant in the SF dining scene again with the help of French star chef Laurent Manrique (Cafe de la Presse, Aquitaine) who has been enlisted to serve as chef consultant. Inside Scoop says, "the notion behind getting Manrique on board at Le Colonial is to bring it back to its original focus." As his first order of duty, he brought Brian Bowen on as the new executive chef. The menu changes will be subtle and rolled out over the next couple of months, but a blending of a Vietnamese pho and French pot-au-feu served tableside is in the mix as is a riz au lait (rice pudding) infused with lemongrass, coconut, and basil. The charming space, including the rattan furniture, pressed-tin ceilings, and tiled atrium, will all remain unchanged.