A Bunch of Chef News and Moves at RN74, Kin Khao, Hog & Rocks, The Keystone, and More

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Seating and the Market Board at RN74. Photo courtesy of RN74.

While I was attending Heritage BBQ on Sunday, I noticed the executive chef for ~RN74~ was listed as Michael Lee Rafidi (who did an awesome job with his Korean-influenced pig dishes at the event). We reached out to the Michael Mina team, and while they did confirm Rafidi recently joined the RN74 team, they say he is still getting geared up and they won’t have his new menu in place until early to mid-October (he was the corporate executive sous chef for the Mina Group for the past couple of years). Then again, a few places online mention Rafidi has been RN74’s executive chef since June. Anyway. The team asked me to stand by for more details about his menu in a couple of weeks. As for talented former exec chef Adam Sobel, we imagine his runaway success with ~MIDDLE’TERRANEA~ at the Mina Test Kitchen has something to do with the change.

Some changes over at ~KIN KHAO~: chef Michael Gaines will be diminishing his role in the kitchen over the next few months, and Scoop reports that after the new year he will start on his own project (fingers crossed it’s in SF). We’ll wait to hear more on that one (we also hear that he and his wife have a baby on the way). Proprietress Pim Techamuanvivit mentions she is not looking for a chef (but looking for cooks, like everyone else)—Gaines’s right-hand man Narciso Salvador (who’s been there since day one) has been running the kitchen for a few months now and reportedly has everything down. He was sous chef at Izakaya Yuzuki and Central Kitchen and also worked at Ame and Ishikawa (in Tokyo).

Another chef leaving to pursue his own thing is Robin Song of ~HOG & ROCKS~. Scoop mentions he’s leaving after three years there at the end of September. Song is going to be focusing on launching Junju, his Korean concept (he has been hosting pop-ups at Hog & Rocks). According to the website, “Junju will focus on Korean BBQ with the traditional art of fermentation and preservation at its core.” Get a sneak peek of the menu here. Song is currently courting investors; we’ll keep you updated as this develops.

Looks like there’s some drama over at the newly opened ~THE KEYSTONE~, with chef Zack Freitas being let go just after he got the restaurant up and running. The restaurant says it was a mutual decision (you can read about it on Eater). 68 4th St. at Mission, 415-777-1200.

~FRANCES~ has officially announced that Michaela Rahorst is chef de cuisine; she is running the kitchen while owner Melissa Perello focuses on Octavia. Rahorst has been at Frances since it opened, working closely with Perello and will continue the culinary style we all know and love there (via Scoop).

Over at ~BARBACCO~, Miguel Peffer is the new chef de cuisine, after working his way up the past five years (he was a cook on the opening team in 2010). You’ll find a regional menu within the main menu each month; this month focuses on the cuisine of Campania.