Brett Cooper, chef of Michelin-starred Aster, will leave the restaurant behind at the end of March. It will mark four years at the Mission restaurant, which Cooper opened with restaurateur/chef Daniel Patterson in 2015.
The reason, Cooper told the Chronicle, is to focus more on his family life, a desire that is often a struggle for chefs. That starts with a move to Los Angeles to be closer to his wife’s family, following his last day of service on March 30.
The chef has had a lasting impact on San Francisco’s style of cooking and worked with some of the city’s best chefs. He started his career here under Stuart Brioza (State Bird Provisions) at Rubicon, worked with Daniel Patterson at Coi, spent time at a fledgling Saison, and helping to cement Outerlands’ relentlessly popular style of Northern California cuisine, before opening Aster with Patterson.
The restaurant earned its first Michelin star just months after opening. It currently serves a four-course menu for $75, which remains one of SF’s most reasonably priced prix fixes. Fans of Cooper’s thoughtful style will miss dishes like a soft-cooked egg with farro verde, preserved lemon, and fines herbes, and dry-aged pork with cabbage, asian pear, vadouvan, and meyer lemon. And, Cooper’s popular sourdough bread and cultured butter, a holdover from his time at Outerlands.
There aren’t yet any public details on what his next career move might be (or who will take his place at Aster). But, now that the Michelin guide has expanded to include regions throughout the state of California — and, of course, Los Angeles — Cooper could see another Michelin star in his future.