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Chef Dominique Crenn Found Love With the Bar Owner From ‘Coyote Ugly’

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Also: A disliked KFC/Taco Bell has packed it in, and more news to start your day

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Dominique Crenn

World-famous chef Dominique Crenn is engaged to actor Maria Bello.

Dominique Crenn, a three-Michelin-starred chef who recently made headlines for removing land animals from the menus of her restaurants Atelier Crenn, Bar Crenn, and Petit Crenn (as well as her as-yet-unopened Boutique Crenn), announced via Instagram that she made a successful proposal of marriage to writer and actor Maria Bello.

“How beautiful and powerful when love comes your way. She said oui!!!! Lucky me,” Crenn wrote regarding the engagement, saying that the pair believes that “women are claiming their rightful place at the table and we have chosen to sit at that table to give voice and visibility to other humans who wish to be free.”

This isn’t the first time Crenn has used her substantial platform to rally for female equality: as long ago as 2014, she bristled as the media’s fixation on gender in the kitchen, and said then that she “often fumble(s) my way through...feeling pressured to say something super-clever that will educate sexists, cheer on other female chefs, and get points from feminists, all while not pissing off my male colleagues (whom I greatly admire and appreciate having camaraderie with).”

A couple years later, she called out a man during a chef-focused Q&A who asked her if she felt like she missed out on “the very important role of being a mother to children.” In response, she said that she has twin daughters, and told the man “If you have kids, I hope you stay home with them, so that your wife can go out and be a bad-ass woman.”

Bello has established her own fictional food and beverage creds as the owner of the bar at the center of Disney classic Coyote Ugly as well as the wife of a small-town diner owner in David Cronenberg’s A History Of Violence. She’s also been open about her romantic entanglements with both genders, writing for the New York Times’ Modern Love column in 2013 that “I would like to consider myself a ‘whatever’... Whomever I love, however I love them, whether they sleep in my bed or not, or whether I do homework with them or share a child with them, ‘love is love.’”

And in other news...

  • East Bay food critic Momo Chang visited chef Anthony Salguero’s Salvadoran pop-up Popoca, and found items like gallo en chicha (rooster braised in fermented fermented corn or pineapple juice) that are “hard to find elsewhere in restaurants in the area.” [Berkeleyside]
  • Restaurants in Oakland’s Chinatown continue to struggle with business drops attributed to fears of the new coronavirus, so Mayor Libby Schaaf is officially telling residents they should visit venues in the neighborhood. [KTVU]
  • A much-despised KFC/Taco Bell (from one Yelp review: “Taco Bell or should I call you Taco Smell? This is probably the worst taco bell that I have been to”) at 2040 Ocean Avenue closed last week, the fourth to shutter in the city since 2016. [Hoodline]
  • Protesters descended on The Keystone, a Southeast Asian-Inspired restaurant inside SoMa’s Mosser Hotel Friday, saying that Mosser Capital — the restaurant’s landlord and owner of several residential properties across Oakland — is attempting to drive them from their homes. [KPIX]
  • Falafel’s Drive-In, a 50-plus-year-old walk-up Middle Eastern spot in San Jose, scored a quick write-up from food critic Soleil Ho. Their falafels are “fantastically crunchy and herbaceous,” Ho says, and just might be the “ultimate comfort food.” [SF Chronicle]

Atelier Crenn

3127 Fillmore Street, , CA 94123 (415) 440-0460 Visit Website

Bar Crenn

3131 Fillmore Street, , CA 94123 (415) 440-0460 Visit Website

Popoca Oakland

906 Washington Street, , CA 94607 (510) 457-1724 Visit Website

The Keystone

68 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 777-1200

Petit Crenn

609 Hayes Street, , CA 94102 (415) 864-1744 Visit Website