Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Group to Watch: The SA Chef Coalition

As you may have already read in 140 characters or less, there’s a new posse in town. The big shots of our city’s food scene have teamed up to form the SA Chef Coalition (@SAChefCoalition). Depending on whom you ask, the group intends to celebrate and promote high quality food and restaurants in the city, interact philanthropically with the community, throw some awesome parties, and entertain the digital masses with frequent and hilarious Twitter wars. After a pricy but successful first event (a $95 per person family style dinner, the proceeds of which will buy a piece of kitchen equipment for a local high school’s culinary program), the SA Chef Coalition held a $10 midnight shebang this Thursday featuring fried chicken, biscuits, and Ranger Creek beer at Ave. B and W. Jones Ave., future home to The Luxury (a new project from Andrew Weissman, allegedly opening soon).

The nebulous group consists of at least the following, and possibly others (updates welcomed):

  • John Brand, Las Canarias and Ostra
  • Chad Carey, The Monterey
  • Jason Dady, Tre Trattoria, Bin 555, Two Bros BBQ Market, the DUK Truck
  • David Gilbert, Sustenio
  • Gabe Howe, sommelier of Il Sogno
  • Steven McHugh, Lüke
  • Jesse Perez
  • Michael Sohocki, Restaurant Gwendolyn
  • Andrew Weissman, Il Sogno, The Sandbar

It even comes complete with a mission statement [sic]:

Community involvement and dedication to charitable work
Helping Local Farmers and Artisanal Producers
Education of our Craft, Passion and Drive behind Chef Driven Restaurants
Food & Fitness, Leading the way for making positive changes for our youth

One hundred of their closest fans and friends attended the affair, where the condiment table overflowed with tasty and, not surprisingly, nonstandard concoctions of honey and jam. The chicken, which arguably overshadowed the somewhat bitter biscuits, kept dedicated foodies lining up at the kitchen trailer well into the morning. Twitter was on fire, attendees hash-tagging #SACC as fast as Siri would allow. Michael Sohocki fraternized with a few friendly and hip (good hip, to clarify) former colleagues from his days at the Cove while Jason Dady (everyone’s SA chef crush, amiright?) strode around, smiling at fans who longed but didn’t dare to ask for a picture with him. Several talkative cooks from one downtown restaurant to remain unnamed unexpectedly struck up conversation: “Do you ladies know where somebody can take a piss?” (Free tip for networkers: the old “Where’s the loo?” line. Works every time!) Chad Carey did some delicious damage in the kitchen while David Gilbert played paparazzi (photos available in the Facebook album here). And perhaps best of all, a server from another center-city establishment told me I have handwriting like a computer, only distinguishable from type by the differences in my lowercase letter i’s. (What?) (And thanks.)

So here are my questions, chefs. Whose idea was it to make the mission statement an acronym? What’s next in terms of charitable, youth- and education-oriented work? Do you intend to add any female chefs to the mix? Must one be invited into the group? Do you foresee it growing in number? And most importantly: when is the next event?

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