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For the First Time Since 2018, Meat Is Going Back on the Menu at Atelier Crenn

Plus, don’t forget that SF’s proof of vaccination mandate starts tomorrow and more intel

UPSIDE Foods cultivated chicken UPSIDE Foods
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

Atelier Crenn, the three Michelin-starred restaurant from San Francisco chef Dominque Crenn, will once again serve meat — though it won’t be of the conventional variety. According to an announcement from Upside Foods on Thursday, Crenn is the first chef to partner with the company (formerly known as Memphis Meats), which produces meat cultivated from animal stem cells. In 2019, Crenn took all three of her restaurant menus meat-free — though seafood stayed in the mix — in protest against the negative environmental footprint of meat production. Now, Crenn says she’s excited to showcase Upside cell-cultivated chicken. “When I tasted UPSIDE Chicken for the first time, I thought, this is it,” Crenn says in the release. “This is the future of food. The look, smell, and sear — UPSIDE Chicken is just delicious.”

A couple of important footnotes: The lab-grown chicken still needs to pass “regulatory review” before it can debut on Crenn’s menu, and in addition to agreeing to serve it to diners in her restaurant, Crenn has also inked a deal to “provide culinary counsel and recipe development” to the company. It’s also worth pointing out that even as cultured meat pushes to become a more common sight on grocery store shelves, presumably as an option for diners looking to opt-out of the industrial meat machine, some scientists say the industry could actually make climate change worse.

Creator’s new BBQ Burger Giovanna Giordano
The Creator machine version 2.0 Aubrie Pick
  • Burlingame diners will get to keep their parklets for another year, the Daily Journal reports. The program was set to expire on September 6, but with the delta variant surging in the Bay Area, the city council conceded restaurant owners should continue to be able to use the city property for outdoor dining. [SM Daily Journal]
  • Two weeks ago the Chronicle shed light on the existential crisis that resulted when a restaurant’s ultra luxurious fried rice went viral. Now the owner of Lily, a modern Vietnamese restaurant in the Richmond, says he’s bringing the dish back for charity. Anyone wanting to try wagyu and caviar-topped crab fried rice is welcome to do so for the cool price tag of $500; proceeds will go to local groups including the San Francisco New Deal and the Rose Pak Memorial Scholarship. [SF Chronicle]
  • Finally, here’s a friendly reminder that San Francisco’s proof of vaccination mandate goes into effect tomorrow, Friday, August 20. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association, The Hotel Council, SF Travel, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce have launched the “Relax. We’re Vaxxed campaign” to help restaurants and bars implement the rule, which requires most people who want to dine or drink indoors to prove that they’re fully vaccinated.