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‘Top Chef’ Pastry Star Yigit Pura Now Baking for SF Fine Arts Venues

Plus new bakeries, coffee, Latin eats, and more intel

With that smile, it's no surprise Pura's not out of the TV game. He'll continue to comment on The Cooking Channel's Unique Sweets, and he's got "something new" brewing for Bravo.

New food for the arts

After closing his Tout Sweet Patisseries, Top Chef: Just Desserts season one winner Yigit Pura has returned as the executive pastry chef of SF’s Global Gourmet Catering. And the catering company has recently taken over the food and beverage contract at the War Memorial Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall, the Herbst Theatre, and Veterans Lobby. That means refreshed menus — and Pura’s sweet sensibilities — at Cafe at the Opera, the North Box Restaurant, and Cafe Valor, as well as intermission bars.

More East Bay treats

A new European-style bakery is opening in North Berkeley on Sunday, October 21. Lavender Bakery & Cafe (1820 Solano Avenue) comes from the same Silicon Valley company that owns La Patisserie in Cupertino and Sugar Butter Flour in Sunnyvale. At Lavender, expect to find burnt almond cake, tiramisu, croissants, and, eventually, made-to-order breakfast dishes.

As seen on TV

After a recent stint on Top Chef, Oakland’s Tu David Phu is returning to the small screen as the host of an ABC holiday food segment, Tastebuds: Chefs Giving, premiering on November 25, at 7 p.m. It also features fellow former Top Chef contestants Melissa King, Kwame Onwuachi, and Sheldon Simeon. The foursome will cook and share holiday dishes that reflect their diverse backgrounds.

Future restaurant industry leaders

It’s officially time to nominate chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, managers, and other hospitality professionals for the next class of Eater Young Guns, joining Nyum Bai’s Nite Yun, who won this year.

New specialty coffee

Berkeley’s 1951 Coffee Company, the nonprofit cafe that aids refugees, has launched its first line of single-origin coffee and specialty blends in partnership with Coffee Manufactory, Tartine’s coffee arm. The beans are roasted in Oakland, and 100 percent of the proceeds support 1951’s job training and employment efforts.

Latin eats

Over in Ghirardelli Square, Pico Latin Street food opened last week, and now we have more details on the restaurant’s offerings. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, Pico serves dishes from Mexico and other Central American countries, including tortas, tacos, pupusas, huevos rancheros, and kids’ meals.

Rebranded Indian food

High Peaks Kitchen, a neighborhood Indian restaurant at 391 Grand Avenue near Lake Merritt, has reemerged as Guru Curry House.

Switcheroo in the Castro

After one year in business, Chinese spot Mr. Fu Kitchen has closed, with a new restaurant ready to swoop in at 335 Noe Street. According to Hoodline, it’ll become a Vietnamese restaurant, Pho 335.

Pico Latin Street Food

900 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109 Visit Website

Lavender Bakery & Cafe

1820 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707 Visit Website

Guru Curry House

391 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

Ghirardelli Square

900 North Point Street, , CA 94109 (415) 775-5500 Visit Website

1951 Coffee Company

2410 Channing Way, , CA 94704 (510) 280-6171 Visit Website