Chef Moves: Melissa Perfit Returns to Bar Crudo, Brett Cooper Splits with Outerlands

melissa-perfit-56.jpg

Chef Melissa Perfit. Photo by Molly DeCoudreaux.

Funny how things can sometimes go full circle. Talented chef Melissa Perfit, who has most recently been running the show at ~HARD WATER~, is now back at ~BAR CRUDO~—she was back in the Crudo kitchen as of last Tuesday. I spoke with partner Tim Selvera, who said that since his brother-partner-chef Mike is busy getting their Guerneville project—Seaside Metal—ready to open, they wanted to have a qualified chef to lead at Bar Crudo. Perfit will be overhauling the menu, although classics like the chowder and lobster salad will remain. Will be nice to see you back in the neighborhood, Melissa!

Last week I checked in with partner Lana Porcello of ~OUTERLANDS~ to see how their expansion into the space next door was coming along (they’re about a month out), and she had some much larger news to share: “I also wanted to let you know of a significant change in the restaurant: after a difficult decision-making process, we have decided to part ways with chef Brett [Cooper]. As you can imagine, this was a tough choice, but one that we feel will be the best for both the restaurant and to support the growth of his career moving forward. We are currently restructuring aspects of our service and look forward to sharing our vision for the next phase of the restaurant’s direction and growth.”

Wow, I don’t think I’m the only one who didn’t see that one coming. Stand by for news on who snaps up the talented Cooper—I’ve been a fan since I met him when he was cooking for Stuart Brioza at Rubicon (he has also worked at Coi and Saison). As for Outerlands, I’ll keep you posted as the reopening nears.