OAKLAND, Calif. (January 30, 2012) –– With the announced departure of its chef, Picán owner/founder Michael LeBlanc held the requisite meetings with his staff and then logged onto his computer to start booking flights for a number of Southern destinations as the first step to finding Picán’s next Chef. LeBlanc, a New Orleans native, plans to retrace his steps through the South, looking for the right mix of experience, raw talent, creativity, passion and vision to transplant to his critically acclaimed Oakland, California-based restaurant, Picán, “Southern...Unleashed!”
“As an independent operation, Picán (www.picanrestaurant.com) has the flexibility to explore its Southern heritage and evolve its brand of Southern-inspired California cuisine while honoring its roots,” said Mr. LeBlanc. “It’s a melding of Southern Foodways –– Cajun, Creole, Gullah and other historic traditions –– with the ideals of the San Francisco Bay Area food movement. The freshest, seasonal ingredients, local sourcing and sustainable practices, branded meats and specialty ingredients come together using time-honored culinary techniques, slow-food philosophy and practices...all in the context of Southern hospitality."
Picán’s opening chef, Dean Dupuis, whom Mr. LeBlanc brought from Atlanta almost three years ago, is leaving to take a position at a new, as yet-to-be-named 150 seat concept from celebrated DC chef/restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier at Revel, the upcoming Atlantic City resort. “We are thrilled Chef Dupuis caught the eye of one of the nation’s most talented restaurateurs and so pleased to have been a part of his career. It validates both our vision and our business model and we’re eagerly anticipating what our next Chef will accomplish here at the helm.”
“We have an amazingly diverse population in the Bay Area,” continued Mr. LeBlanc. “They are often as passionate about what’s on the plate as they are about how it got to the plate. Our guests experience culture through food, through the sensory experience of that food –– the flavors, textures, colors, scents and all the combinations thereof. They care about the story the food tells, they care about what they drink with it –– from perfectly prepared Southern Sweet Tea, to wine pairings to how a cocktail is built.” Mr. LeBlanc noted Picán has a comprehensive Bourbon Portfolio, an important part of the restaurant’s personality and one which has earned it the reputation as being the “Westernmost Point on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.”
With a stack of rave reviews, critical acclaim from Zagat, Gayot and back-to-back Michelin Bib Gourmand awards, Picán has earned its stripes from food critics as well as a place among the Bay Area’s discerning diners. “We have a loyal following,” noted Mr. LeBlanc, “and are constantly being ‘discovered.’ We never stop innovating, evolving our offering, sharing our enthusiasm for bringing culture, history and tradition –– with our special brand of twist –– to the plate, to our restaurant for the enjoyment of our guests. We don’t stop until “WOW!” he exclaimed.
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