Chef Brett Cooper Leaves Aster (and SF), Chef Steve Brown Departs Niku

1-Aster_ext_and_sign_IG.png

The sign at Aster. Photo via Instagram.

2-niku-slice.jpeg

Executive chef Steve Brown slicing up some meat magic. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I was bummed to come home to the news that chef-owner Brett Cooper of ~ASTER~ decided to leave the restaurant, and actually is leaving San Francisco to move to Los Angeles—he wants to be able to spend more time with his family, and his wife’s family is in LA. He opened the restaurant four years ago with Daniel Patterson (in 2015)—no word on who his replacement is. But we’ve been lucky to have him for 16 years—I remember first meeting him at Rubicon when Stuart Brioza was the chef. The SF restaurant community will miss him (and his many talents, including that wondrous sourdough bread of his!). 1001 Guerrero St. at 22nd St. [Via Chronicle.]

Another surprise: chef Steve Brown, the opening chef of ~NIKU STEAKHOUSE~ (with “A5” tattooed on his forearm), has returned to San Diego to be with his family. (He has started his Cosecha SD dinners back up, in case you want to check them out!) Taking over as executive chef is Dustin Falcon, who joined Niku prior to opening as executive sous chef. He was most recently at Lazy Bear as a sous chef, and The French Laundry as chef de partie. 61 Division St. at Rhode Island.