Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Noble Cafe Breaks Ties With New Chef

By Jesse Hirsch
Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

You know today's story on Noble Cafe's brand-new menu, created by Make Westing chef Melinda Vaca? Please scrub it from your brain, because it's not happening.

I talked to Dimitri Thompson on Friday and he raved about the exciting changes Vaca was bringing to Noble's food program. On Sunday, he sent me a PDF of her proposed menu. Well, apparently everything has gone south within three short days, as Thompson emailed late last night: "After long conversation with Melinda I decided not to go with her menu in near future. Please adjust that article!"

Thompson says he loves Vaca and her food but that a disagreement over pricing led them to part ways. He intends to find a new chef to create his menu.

Update: In a phone conversation, Vaca said it was mostly an issue of time. As mentioned in the original story, she wants to train a chef who can prepare the new menu to her standards. Unfortunately she's too busy at Make Westing to perform that training right now. Vaca still hopes something can be worked out in the future: "It's a good menu, and I'd like to see it put to use."

Comments? Tips? Get in touch at Jesse.Hirsch@EastBayExpress.com.

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