Michael Chiarello Names His Chef de Cuisine for Coqueta

The porch at the former Lafitte on Pier 5.

Arguably the biggest new restaurant opening of 2013 in S.F. will be Michael Chiarello’s Coqueta, which is moving in to the former Lafitte space on Pier 5 come summer. The name means "flirt," and Chiarello has said that it signifies his desire to flirt with Spanish cuisine, both the ingredients and techniques. Today we learn via the Daily Meal that he’s picked a chef to head up the kitchen at the new restaurant, and it’s Bottega alum Ryan McIlwraith. Chiarello says, "It’s … very exciting because we’ll be right next to the farmers’ market," and he says that part of the deal to lease the space from the Port includes buying a percentage of their produce from the Ferry Plaza market. As for the bar program, that will be created by Joe Cleveland, who’s also worked for Jose Andres, and will included house-distilled gin and tonics, which are "very popular in Spain." [Daily Meal, Earlier, Earlier still]