Local chef Jen Biesty and her partner in (pastry) crime Tim Nugent have nailed down a location near Oakland's Grand Lake district for a new Mediterranean-influenced, "Americlectic" spot they're called Shakewell Bar & Kitchen. They've now launched a Kickstarter campaign for the project in order to try to raise $100,000 for remodeling costs, as Zagat reports.
Top Chef fans may recall that Biesty, then a chef at Coco500, appeared on Season 4 of the show along with girlfriend-at-the-time Zoi Antonitsas and fellow S.F. chef Ryan Scott. From 2008 on, after returning from shooting, she served as executive chef at Scala's Bistro at the Sir Francis Drake. Biesty departed Scala's earlier this year, saying she was hoping to get back to cooking food at a smaller, more personal scale she told the Chronicle that at certain times of the year, Scala's served up to 1,200 covers a day, compared to 350 a day at bustling Nopa.
Nugent appeared on the first season of Top Chef: Just Desserts, and he previously worked at Zuni Café, Campton Place, Perbacco and Arlequin Café. He went on to work alongside Biesty for five years at Scala's.
Biesty says, in the video below, that she and Tim are "like two peas in a pod. We finish each others' sentences, and we're amazing business partners." The two have known each other for 15 years, and they describe Shakwell Bar & Kitchen as their dream restaurant. They're aiming for a late fall or early winter opening, but they say if they do not raise the last funds by August 26 they will lose the space they found (address still TBA).