The visionary San Francisco restaurant will showcase some of its most celebrated alumni—and tickets are selling out fast.
San Francisco's Coi is an American institution, and this year, it's celebrating its twelfth anniversary with two blow-out dinners featuring some of the country's top chefs, many of whom came through that kitchen. The dinners, taking place on May 21 and 22, will be a bit like massive, super-high-powered family reunions, featuring dishes from Erik Anderson, Matt Kirkley, Carlos Salgado, Evelyn Wu, and more.
"We're turning 12, so I thought it would be fun to invite 12 chefs ... and then there were more," Daniel Patterson tells Food & Wine. "And we ended up with 16, so we decided to do two dinners. I was just thinking about all of the amazing people that have come through that kitchen. I've kept in touch with everyone. I'm just really proud of them all."
Patterson, an F&W Best New Chef 1997, helmed the iconic S.F. restaurant for years until 2016, when Matt Kirkley took over, earning the restaurant its third Michelin star. At the beginning of this year, Erik Anderson became executive chef as Kirkley stepped away to train for Bocuse d'Or and pursue other projects.
"At one point in 2009 Carlos Salgado, Katy Millard, Evan Rich, Brett Cooper and Evelyn Wu were all in the same kitchen - out of a staff of seven," Patterson says of the impressive reach of Coi alumni. To put it gently: The dinner line-ups are very, very impressive.
"I don't know what to attribute it to, but there was just something special about that restaurant, that time," says Patterson. "It transcended my own expectations. Thats what the dinner is about. To also acknowledge and appreciate something that ended up being much greater than the sum of its parts."
Each dinner will consist of nine chefs and ten courses, paired with wines or non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets cost $495, and $100 of each ticket will benefit The Cooking Project, which turns five this year. Founded by Patterson and Sasha Bernstein, the San Francisco-based non-profit teaches kids and young adults, many of them high-risk, cooking skills that they can take with them for life.
"What we learned is that the skills that you develop learning how to cook are the same things that feed into a lot of other life skills, like organization and confidence," says Patterson. "We're teaching basic things that would allow them to feed themselves inexpensively and well. Nutrition is such an important part of physical and mental health."
See below for some of the chefs cooking at each dinner. And buy your tickets here before they all sell out: They're going quickly.
Matt Kirkley (Bocuse D'Or)
Erik Anderson (Coi)
Matt Tinder (Saboteur Bakery)
Evan/Sarah Rich (Rich Table)
Nick Muncy (Toothache Magazine)
Gavin Schmidt (the Morris)
Riley Redfern (Coi)
Katy Millard (Coquine)
Brett Cooper (Aster)
John Marquez (Lima)
James Syhabout (Commis)
Evelyn Wu (Boralia, Toronto)
Carlos Salgado (Taco Maria)
Jake Godby (Humphrey Slocombe)