After taking over the kitchen at 10-year-old fine dining institution Saison last year, new executive chef and co-owner Laurent Gras has been making gradual changes to the restaurant. Rather than Tartine bread, for instance, Saison’s classic uni toast now features Gras’ own house-made bread, prepared from a 60-year-old French starter, no less.
The biggest change yet will come this summer with an overhaul of the dining room, closing the restaurant for two months. And, in a fitting choice for the job, the team has tapped James Beard-award winning designer Ken Fulk.
In the Venn diagram overlap between Saison founder and co-owner Joshua Skenes and designer Fulk, there’s lots of taxidermy: Skenes’ new restaurant, Angler, looks like a hunting lodge or museum, and Angler, like Saison is known for its emphasis on fish and game meat. Fulk’s designs, like those at SF restaurant including Leo’s Oyster Bar, Marlowe, and Petit Marlowe, also feature taxidermy. Most recently, the designer took on a large-scale renovation of an old San Francisco church, reimagining the huge space as the Saint Joseph’s Arts Society and Foundation.
What Fulk will do with the small, 18-seat dining room space at Saison remains to be seen: The open kitchen isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the facade and general layout of the historic California Electric Light Company building, which Saison occupies. Stay tuned