Acclaimed Westward chef Zoi Antonitsas gets a perfect new post, food-borne illness in Seattle and beyond (ewww), Bauhaus suddenly closes and more.
1. ZOI ANTONITSAS MAKES HER MOVE: In what has every appearance of a completely stellar match, chef Zoi Antonitsas is now at the helm of Capitol Hill’s Omega Ouzeri. Antonitsas earned excellent reviews and was named a Food and Wine 2015 Best New Chef during her recent stint at Westward; Omega Ouzeri, from Thomas Soukakos of Vios fame (as well as the late, much-loved El Greco), has earned plenty of its own praise since opening in January. As Omega Ouzeri’s announcement puts it, “Thomas Soukakos recognized a kindred Greek spirit in Ms. Antonitsas, and a shared belief in the Greek word meraki (may-rah-kee), a word often used to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love.” In terms of Northwest-influenced Greek cuisine and just plain great nights out, this is huge for Seattle.
2. THIS WEEK IN FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS: Seems like we can just make this a regular feature, right? This week, at least 200 Seattle office-dwellers got norovirus at the Russell Investments tower downtown, leading to a shutdown of all food service there. A large catered event seems to be ground zero for the outbreak. Meanwhile, at least 120 Boston College students got noro after eating at a Chipotle. This is unrelated to the very recent Chipotle E. coli outbreak, except insofar as it’s really bad for Chipotle.
3. CAPITOL HILL CRISIS: Bauhaus Books and Coffee has suddenly closed down on Pine Street, and according to the note on the door and post on Facebook, the closure is permanent. It’s unclear exactly what happened to the beloved cafe’s plans to move back into its nearby original space, from which it was displaced by development two years ago (maybe the new rent’s going to be too damn high?). Bauhaus lives on in its in Ballard and Green Lake locations, but that’s cold comfort to its legions of longtime Capitol Hill fans — it originally opened there in 1993.
UPDATE: The Ballard and Green Lake Bauhaus locations are now also closed. Click here for details.
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4. JASON STRATTON’S ‘TOP CHEF’ PROGRESS: Mamnoon chef Jason Stratton handily survived last week’s two-part “Top Chef” premiere, making a positive impression with his cooking and making fun of another contestant (who asked for it with his man-bun). Nosh Pit has all the details on both parts, ICYMI. The show is back tonight on Bravo with episode two (will this be the one featuring MC Hammer?!). In other local-chef-on-TV news, Roy Breiman, culinary director of Cedarbrook Lodge, beat Bobby Flay with a Dutch baby.
NOW RE-OPEN: BOB’S QUALITY MEATS in Columbia City (hooray!).
FOOD EVENTS: Amuse your bouche.