chef shuffles

Chef Cal Peternell Will Leave Chez Panisse After 22 Years

Cal Peternell ran the kitchen for 17 of his 22 years at Chez Panisse. Photo: Facebook

Chez Panisse is one of modern America’s most influential restaurants, the place that launched a thousand figs on a plate. For the last 17 years, its kitchen has been helmed by the chef Cal Peternell, who joined the Berkeley spot in 1995. After his two-decade-plus run, the chef has announced that he will leave the restaurant, joining a list of departed chefs that includes Jeremiah Tower, Dan Barber, Jonathan Waxman, David Tanis, and many more.

During his time at Chez Panisse, Peternell published a pair of cookbooks, Twelve Recipes and A Recipe for Cooking. In his post-kitchen life, he plans to publish a third cookbook, he tells San Francisco Gate’s Inside Scoop, and launch a culinary-education podcast called Cooking by Ear. It doesn’t sound like his plans beyond that are concrete, though he says he’s also interested in launching a cooking school that, through scholarships, will somehow address the growing problem that cooks can’t afford to live in the Bay Area.

Chez Panisse Chef Will Leave After 22 Years on the Job