Best Chef - 2000
Roland Passot of La Folie
A staggering number of San Francisco restaurants serve up mind-blowing food -- Fleur de Lys, the Fifth Floor, and the Dining Room spring immediately to mind -- but Passot's incredible creations are not only in a class by themselves, they so completely transcend La Folie's unexciting, inelegant setting that the food demands separate and effusive notice. Luxurious ingredients are terrined and interwoven into transcendentally delicious artworks: duck consommé with foie gras flan, tuna and lobster tartare with osetra caviar, roti of quail and squab with wild mushrooms and truffles. There's a four-course Discovery Menu available at $75 and a vegetarian version for $55. Passot also masterminds the more casual, less expensive (and delightful in their own rights) Left Bank brasseries in Lark-spur and Menlo Park, where homier, more rustic menus allow the chef to flex his culinary muscles even further.