Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Chefs at Sea Salt, New Breakfast at Paisan

By John Birdsall
Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 9:08 PM

After longtime chef Anthony Paone stepped away in January, Scott Gehring stepped up to lead the kitchen at Berkeley seafood restaurant Sea Salt. Now it’s Gehring’s turn to step away — Sea Salt’s Haig Krikorian confirmed yesterday that the restaurant has a new chef.

Er, make that two chefs. Ex-Plouf chef Thomas Weibull is now in charge of Sea Salt’s dinner service, while Chris Keeley, formerly of Rose’s Café on Union Street, has taken over the daytime kitchen (lunch, weekend brunch). Both are new hires for Krikorian’s K2 Restaurant Group, which includes Paisan, Lalime’s, T-Rex, Fonda, Jimmy Beans, and both Cesars.

As for the food at Sea Salt, Krikorian told What the Fork to expect “a significant change n style” in coming weeks. “We’re leaving it to them to play around with it,” Krikoriaan said. Gehring will continue to do a limited number of special projects for the restaurant group.

A breakfast sandwich is among the new a.m. offerings at Paisan in Berkeley.
  • John Birdsall
  • A breakfast sandwich is among the new a.m. offerings at Paisan in Berkeley.

Meanwhile, next-door neighbor and year-old K2 sib Paisan recently began serving a daily breakfast, sort of a Pizzaiolo-style coffee and pastry thing, only with more elaborate food offerings. A daily house-made strada; soft, pillowy scrambled egg sandwich with prosciutto; a polenta berry cake that’s halfway between a clafoutis and a buckle; scones. Artisan Bakery, K2’s pastry shop, is making other morning sweets. The coffee’s Blue Bottle. The hours: Mon.-Sat., 8-11 a.m.

Get in touch at John.Birdsall@EastBayExpress.com, and follow me on Twitter @John_Birdsall.

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