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.
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
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.