‘I’m fully in shock’: Chefs react to three-Michelin-star Napa restaurant burning down

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By Madeline Wells, SFGATE

Updated

  • Charred framing remains, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which burned in the Glass Fire, in St. Helena, Calif. Photo: Noah Berger, AP / Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

    Charred framing remains, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which burned in the Glass Fire, in St. Helena, Calif.

    Charred framing remains, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which burned in the Glass Fire, in St. Helena, Calif.

    Photo: Noah Berger, AP

Charred framing remains, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which burned in the Glass Fire, in St. Helena, Calif.

Charred framing remains, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which burned in the Glass Fire, in St. Helena, Calif.

Photo: Noah Berger, AP

On Monday, some structures at luxury resort Meadowood Napa Valley succumbed to the flames of the raging Glass Fire, which has now grown to over 42,000 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties. The St. Helena resort’s three-Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood, as well as the Grill at Meadowood and a golf shop, were all destroyed in the fire. Upon hearing the news shared by Meadowood’s executive chef Christopher Kostow, chefs and restaurateurs both locally and across the nation offered their condolences.

“Heartbreaking loss of an iconic, gorgeous resort in Napa,” wrote Dominique Crenn, chef-owner of San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn and the only female chef in America to attain three Michelin stars, on Instagram. She added: “We wish safety for those fighting the fires and everyone in Napa/Sonoma … And let’s wake up .. climate change is real … the planet is burning…”

Mourad Lahlou, the chef-owner of San Francisco’s Mourad, shared a similar sentiment: “my heart is broken. another icon fell. so many dreams. so much work. my brother @ckostow, his team, and the entire @therestaurantmw family, words cannot express my sadness and heartbreak adequately. you will rise again; that i m certain of.”

Many Bay Area chefs have known and worked with chef Christopher Kostow and the Meadowood team over the years, including Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Tanya Holland, who shared photos from a memorable night at the restaurant.

“How is it possible that @meadowoodnapavalley is gone?” wrote Holland on Instagram. “I am forever grateful to @ckostow and team for an incredible night of hospitality and delicious memories.”

But Meadowood’s devoted fanbase seems to stretch beyond just the Bay Area. David Chang, New York-based founder of Momofuku and television personality, chimed in on Twitter to share his grief at hearing the news as well.

“Chef Kostow is a visionary and helped build a magical restaurant,” wrote Chang. “One of the very best in the world and dedicated so many years to building meadowood. Unbelievably sad. F— 2020.”

Jeremiah Stone and Fabián Von Hauske Valtierra, the chefs behind New York City’s Wildair and Contra, also expressed their support and admiration for Meadowood.

“I’m fully in shock. Meadowood is burning,” wrote Stone on Instagram. “An iconic place where it felt like anything could be fixed. We got basically asked to leave from a three star restaurant one night and fled to Meadowood for refuge. The team there [is] literally what define[s] hospitality.”

Madeline Wells is an SFGATE reporter. Email: madeline.wells@sfgate.com | Twitter: @madwells22

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