February 14, 2012

February 14, 2012
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London’s arbuckle grits with caramelized fino verde fennel, ricotta, purslane, and strawberry soffritto; photo by Deirdre Bourdet.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Rising star chef Aaron London of ~UBUNTU~ announced last week that he is leaving the wine country’s temple of vegetarian gastronomy to open his own restaurant in San Francisco. Ubuntu’s surprising five-month winter hiatus this year provided an easy transition out of Napa, and he’s been spending his break in the city training to be the head cook and bottle washer at his new venture. His goal: to work a stint in every restaurant station, both front and back of the house (check him out behind the bar at Locanda).

London is cagey with details of where and what his future restaurant will be, but will hopefully open up more once he secures the space he says he’s got his eye on, and the build-out gets underway. He did tell Grub Street that “it’s not a one-word answer” whether he will continue in the all-vegetable style he honed while at Ubuntu, but that all of his past work experiences will influence the cuisine. The break with Ubuntu’s owner Sandy Lawrence was apparently amicable, but no word yet on what we can expect when Ubuntu reopens this spring.