Foodie Updates: SF Chefs Next Week, a Benu Spinoff, and More


This week in food-world news, Benu chef Corey Lee looks to be opening a spinoff restaurant in Hayes Valley; there's an update on Doc Ricketts; and SF Chefs is kicking off with star-chef-studded events through next weekend.

First off, today brought word of a new, unnamed restaurant in the works from acclaimed Benu chef Corey Lee. As some of you may know, Lee was chef de cuisine at The French Laundry before opening his Michelin two-starred S.F. restaurant. The space is at 451 Gough Street (at Ivy), and was not previously a restaurant. The details, opening timeframe, and concept are still TBA, but there will be a full bar, if and when the place opens. The property is still in escrow. [Inside Scoop]

Next, we have some updates on Doc Ricketts and Doc's Bar, which are set to open by October in the former Purple Onion building (124 Columbus Avenue) in North Beach. The legendary basement comedy venue closed last year, and for years it had a restaurant upstairs called Caffe Macaroni. New owner Christopher Burnett (Darwin Cafe) is behind the project, and they're totally gutting the place and renovating from scratch, installing the new cocktail bar in the former Purple Onion and the restaurant, named for pioneering Monterey-based marine biologist Doc Ricketts, who was the inspiration for the Doc character in Cannery Row. The chef at the restaurant will be Justin Deering, formerly of 15 Romolo and Conduit. [Tablehopper]

Last but not least, this week marks the start of SF Chefs, easily the most popular and well-attended food fest in the Bay Area for the last few years. Based around a grand tasting tent in Union Square, the event features the best of local chefs and mixologists offering tasty bites and cocktails all weekend, and plenty of wine being poured as well in the tent. Also, there are special dinners, seminars, and panel discussions throughout the week, starting with a gala dinner Sunday, July 29, featuring all the female stars of the S.F. dining scene cooking in tandem at Prospect, including Nancy Oakes and Pamela Mazzola of Boulevard and Prospect, Frances chef Melissa Perello, and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn. (Tickets are $450 and go to benefit The Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund.)

Other highlights of the week include a tasting of Portuguese wines with acclaimed Jardiniere sommelier Eugenio Jardim, a chef demo with chef Sean Brock of Charleston restaurant Husk and Quince's Michael Tusk, and the Grand Tasting Tent, which opens Friday evening and continues with different rosters of chefs and wineries on Saturday and Sunday. See info and get tickets for everything here.

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