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When the blogs lit up a few weeks ago announcing Marc Baltes' return to San Francisco after a two-year run as Corporate Exec Chef at Pi, his replacement was still up in the air. Today we learn that Steven Caravelli has landed the job and will report on August 15.
After Caravelli left ARAKA in June, (reported by Relish here), he took part-time positions at the Mud House and Entre (reported here), filling the void left by Chris Bork (who's been busy tweaking the menu at Blood & Sand, scheduled to open by mid-September).
Jeff Constance, Pi's COO, is more than excited to have Caravelli (a veteran of An American Place, Niche, SleeK, and ARAKA) on board. "Steven's participated in several event dinners and is fairly well-known around town already," he said. "He's as interested in becoming more involved in the chef's community as we are for him to do so."
Caravelli echoed the excitement, saying that Pi, a company on a rocket ship growth path, will provide the stability required for a young chef with a family.
Next up for Pi: a major, new store opening in Washington, DC later this month and a downtown StL location slated to open next year. Now several years old, its direction and focus has become focused and more well-defined. Constance explains: "Early on, you could carve your own path; now, we're at the stage where we need to refresh, reinvigorate, and keep the Pi name not just out there, but front and center. Steven will add that element and provide the culinary twist we now feel we need."
Baltes' swan song is tonight's Dorm Room dinner (held monthly at 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar), where he will prepare a 5-course meal assisted by his brother Pat (on other evenings, a chef at Cardwell's in Frontenac). It's been almost two years since the duo's first Dorm Room, but many veterans remember that dinner as one of the best.
To complete the circle, Caravelli will assist the Baltes brothers as guest chef tonight at Dorm Room. Jeff Stettner, owner of 33, says it will be the biggest DR ever, with 100+ diners attending, split into two seatings.