Locally, Daniel Patterson is known as the celebrated chef of Coi on Broadway, which SF Weekly restaurant reviewer Meredith Brody liked so much during a visit last year she used the word coup de grace to describe dessert: “An extremely beautiful orange coffee cup containing a few swallows of caramel milkshake set off with a sprinkling of salt crystals, a tiny chocolate madeleine resting on its saucer.” (Yum! We’ll take six.)
Nationally, Chef Daniel is also known as a frequent contributor to the New York Times, where he writes witty, insightful, sometimes damning essays about regular things like butter, tofu, and squash. Recently he blew the stopper off of truffle oil, which, he pointed out, is about as natural as a bag of Fun Dip but is nonetheless used (or was until the article ran) by nearly every great restaurant in the business, from the French Laundry on down. (It seems the problem is the American palate, which requires a truffle dish to have enough aroma to blow diners into next week. Hence: 2,4-dithiapentane.)
On Saturday night, however, Chef is not going to be filleting neither fish, dithiapentane, or Alice Waters (forgot to say: he did a little number on her as well), but rather the keyboards, for Chef is also the lead and only keyboard player for the Syd Barrett cover band Syd’s Last Trip.
Really. There he is in the lower left hand corner of the photo. And you never thought a top chef would be found in Ireland’s 32.
We saw Syd’s at Edinburgh Castle Pub months ago, and there was Chef, bent over the keys, lighted by the beam of the projector (every Syd Barrett cover band must have a projector), carefully arranging notes of songs like “Astronomy Domine” as if he were positioning two baby carrots and a scallop on a plate. The band is the brainchild of the Floyd Brothers, if you go by their MySpace page (which you should, since it contains the line “we currently perform ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ from beginning to end”) who formed a Syd Barrett cover band for the only reason that anyone does anything worthwhile: Someone had to. On Saturday night, they appear at Floyd Fest 2007, opening for House of Floyd (you can call them the appetizer or the aperitif — I ain’t) at the Rock-It Room, 406 Clement Street, at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. You can also catch them on Halloween at the Knockout. — Michael Leaverton