James Syhabout is swinging for the fences.
Most chefs would be content with one restaurant as successful as Syhabout’s first, Commis. Opened in 2009, it’s the only restaurant in Oakland, Calif., with a Michelin star, with a tasting-menu-only format showcasing his technical skill and deep understanding of flavor.
But Syhabout, who was born in a Thai refugee camp, raised in Oakland, trained at the California Culinary Academy and spent three years as chef de cuisine at David Kinch’s celebrated restaurant, Manresa, is not most chefs.
Lest you pigeonhole him as a fine-dining chef who has made a foray into the food of his youth, Syhabout also runs the Dock at Linden Street, which opened in conjunction with Linden Street Brewery.