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Not Even Vice Magazine Can Make Chef Daniel Patterson Cut Loose
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Vice | July 18, 2014
Guy Fieri, he is not.
Acclaimed chef Daniel Patterson of two-Michelin star restaurant Coi and mid-Market's Alta CA is undoubtedly one of the Bay Area food world's leading figures. He's also got a bit of a reputation for being, well, cold? Robotic? A Vulcan who struggles with those irrational things you humans call feelings?
In our profile of him last year, we called Patterson an "intense and complex man." Let's stay with that.
Exhibit A: This video shot by Vice magazine for its series on wild nights with local chefs like the couple behind State Bird Provisions (in which they wax poetic about juggalos and down a bottle of 21-year old Japanese whiskey) and Dominique Crenn (in which the head of Atelier Crenn knocks back enough brandy that all she can manage is some grilled cheese.)
So strap yourself in to watch the man who brought you coffee-roasted carrots down some Jaeger bombs and rhapsodize about Doritos, right? Right?
Wrong. Instead of being even the slightest bit entertaining, Patterson and his wife stiffly sip white wine and admit, "There's nothing more boring than two married people talking," before heading out to cocktails with friends, while all the while he wears the distant look of a parent chaperoning a trip to a Wiggles concert.
It's like watching a video of a Playboy photo-shoot only to find that the model just wants to talk about Mahler. That's great—but it's not exactly on message. Patterson goes through the motions of partying like he's being held hostage. And for a man who clearly loves his work—and not much else—he sort of is.
It's not just us picking up on the uncomfortable vibes. Even Benu's Corey Lee yells at Patterson to get shit-faced: "Have you seen these videos?" he begs. (We're on #TeamCorey, if you can't tell. We're not asking for Guy Fieri here, but at least give us something!)
We do learn that Patterson believes Oakland "isn't like a wilderness. It's an actual city." So that's something. At least he doesn't lose his cool over a sous chef's millimeter variance in chopping chives.