There’s a saying that's become a staple cliché of reality competition shows: “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win.” That might have been the case for chefs Sang Yoon and Douglas Keane when they first stepped onto the set of Top Chef Masters in 2013, but it’s not how things ended. According to SF Gate, the duo bonded during the show’s filming and have remained friends. Now, they’re opening up a restaurant together in Napa Valley’s St. Helena.
Yoon is best-known for his signature cheeseburger (and no-ketchup policy) at L.A.'s Father’s Office and, more recently, his hip Southeast Asian cooking at Lukshon. Keane earned two Michelin stars at Sonoma's now-shuttered Cyrus with his ultra-luxe, foie-gras-laden, super-fine dining. How will the two merge their styles? In a yakitori restaurant called Two Birds One Stone. The restaurant promises wood-fire grilled chicken thighs with ponzu and scallions and duck breast with yuzu kosho and masago arare (tiny crispy rice spheres). The team’s yakitori inspiration doesn’t stop at the menu; they also hope the new spot will embody the fun, easy-going, communal spirit that's common at yakitori restaurants in Japan. “It’s going to be a high energy, casual environment with great inspired but not challenging food,” Keane told the website BiteClubEats. “A place you can stop by for a drink and a couple bites or hang for the whole night.”