boo-hoos - losing our best again, plus Chef Cel

We're losing two more of our best chefs.

Philippe Verpiand has sold Cavaillon (which will retain its name and its French orientation) and is moving to -- Texas. Gossip I've heard from patrons attributes this to the financially crippling advent of Groupon discount coupons, and the plethora of large groups bringing their own wines. And that location in Santa Luz couldn't have helped -- hard to find, not very pretty (ugly malls until you finally locate the restaurant in a more woodsy area) and far, far from downtown. (Last time I ate there I actually fell asleep iin the car on the way home, like a little kid coming home from a country weekend.) Verpiand says he needs to spend more time with his family, too.

"More time with the family" is also the alibi for chef Brian Sinnott, new father, and chef of 1500 Ocean at the Del. He's not fleeing somewhere else, just taking time out to be a human being. Hey, congrats on the kid, Brian!

Better news: Terra is now reopening in exotic La Mesa.

And the Chef's Celebration is on again. We've already missed the first big event (which was April 5 at Pamplemouuse). This is a traveling event where top chefs collaborate to cook fabulous dinners, for the benefit of local working lower-level chefs, financing scholarships to culinary schools to perfect their skills. Here's the rest of the schedule:

Blue Point Coastal Cuisine Tuesday, April 12th Cost: $65 per person Call for Reservations: 619.233.6623 www.bluepointsd.com

Chefs: Daniel Barron – Blue Point Coastal Cuisine Mia Alio – Analog Brian Malarkey – Searsucker Ken Irvine – Blue Boheme Craig Jimenez – Craft & Commerce

Cowboy Star Tuesday, April 19th Cost: $65 per person Call for Reservations: 619.450.5880 www.thecowboystar.com

Chefs: Victor Jimenez – Cowboy Star Christian Graves – Jsix Ricardo Heredia – Alchemy Chris Kurth – Grant Grill Stephane Voitzwinkler – Mister A’s Sam Burman – Quality Social

Harney Sushi 10 year Anniversary Tuesday, April 26th Cost: $100 per person Call for Reservations: 619.295.3272 www.harneysushi.com

Chefs: Anthony Sinsay – Harney Sushi Paul McCabe – Kitchen 1540 Amy DiBiase – Personal Chef/Consultant Katsuya Fukushima – Minibar, Café Atlántico (Washington, D.C.)

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Sunday, May 22nd – 12-3pm Cost: $45 per person Buy Tickets: (link coming soon!) www.stoneworldbistro.com

Chefs & Breweries: TBA

HINT TO THAI TRAVEL VETERANS: My new banker buddy JJ brought me a menu from Street Side Thai at 30th and University in North Park. It's a tiny place, mainly carry-out, and most of the menui is - routine -- EXCEPT they carry Esan sausage as an appetizer. The other appetizers were interesting, too. This is a strong hint they're trying to live up to their name, serving Thai street-foods along with the standard stuff.


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