Lucky us, she’s back! The new chef de cuisine of DEL POPOLO is Michaela Rahorst, taking over for opening cdc Jeffrey Hayden. Rahorst was most recently the cdc at Frances, departing in late 2016 to travel, rest, and regroup; she also worked some private dinners and special events. Her background also includes time cooking with notable chefs Daniel Humm, Christopher Kostow (at Chez TJ), and Ron Siegel (at the Ritz-Carlton), and she helped open Frances back in 2009. She wasn’t planning to go back to restaurant life, but she liked owner Jon Darsky’s thoughtful approach and dedication to sustainability.
Now at Del Popolo, she will be creating all the small plates on the menu while Darsky will continue the pizza magic. Look for a market-fresh and Mediterranean approach to the dishes, keeping things simple and approachable (and utterly delicious). Her current dishes include Double 8 Dairy Jersey milk ricotta (which they make special for Del Popolo) with toasted baguette and Séka Hills olive oil; mozzarella di bufala with roasted beets, winter citrus, hazelnuts, and dill; and baked egg in winter greens with green garlic cream, which I want for brunch, like, right now. She’s having fun learning how to prep some ingredients in the wood-fired oven—she started getting her feet wet while helping out at Del Popolo during the busy holidays, but her official start date is March 6th (although you can enjoy some of her new additions to the menu now).
In fact, next Thursday March 8th, you can enjoy her cooking alongside Chris Kronner of Kronnerburger as they host a winemaker dinner together with Subject to Change Wine Co. (yes, you are reading that correctly—this is their inaugural vintage). These are natural wines from single-vineyard sites, made from either organically or biodynamically farmed grapes. The family-style three-course dinner (starters, snacks, burgers, pizza, and dessert!) is $90 (inclusive of food, wine, tax, and service) and will be held in their private garden dining space. 6:30pm-9:30pm. 855 Bush St. at Taylor.
Del Popolo’s new chef de cuisine, Michaela Rahorst. Photo: Liam Passmore/Shave and a Haircut.