Food

Post image for Jesse Cool brings in a new partner with a familiar face at Flea Street Cafe

Jesse Cool has a new partner at Flea Street Cafe — and the face is very familiar. Michael Biesemeyer worked for long periods of time over the past decade at the Menlo Park restaurant.

“I’ve been hoping to find a partner for a few years,” explained Jesse. “I made a few attempts with chefs, but that did not work out. In signing a 10-year lease extension — and already 38 years into the business — I knew I needed help to both maintain the core history and values of Flea Street, and to support me as operations become more challenging at my age.

“My youngest son, Jonah, looked at me and said, ‘Mom, it is not a chef you need as a partner, it is Michael Biesemeyer, he is the perfect partner for you and Flea Street.'”

Michael was a captain/server and the most respected employee by both staff and customers, according to Jesse. She also characterizes him as a solid family man and a lifetime professional in the food industry.

Knowing that he was working at Protege, a new restaurant in Palo Alto, Jesse emailed him to see if he was interested. She got a quick “Let’s have coffee,” from Michael in return.  He was soon named the new Managing Partner.

“As our guests learn that Michael is my new business partner, the response has been joyful and happy for us both,” Jesse said. “It warms my heart. I am relieved to know that Michael will continue our core values while also collaborating with our chef, who also shares our values. We can remain true to who we are for another 10 years — or more!”

In Michael’s view, Flea Street is a unique restaurant with a deep history with the community. “Jesse is an original, a pioneer in farm-to-table,” he said. “She created a restaurant that knows its values to its core. It’s the kind of restaurant that doesn’t try hard to be what it is — it just is.”

Initially, Michael is working on building the private dining part of the business and accommodating larger groups, up to 20. The outdoor area will be further weatherized.

“There have been many iterations of Flea Street and people keep giving us a chance,” he said. “We’re dedicated to meeting their expectations year after year.”

Photo by Scott R. Kline (c) 2018

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Annual Christmas Bazaar at Russian Orthodox Church in Menlo Park set for Dec. 1

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The 2018 Annual Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at The Nativity of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church in Menlo Park (1220 Crane St.) Wonderful traditional Russian food and desserts, live musical performances, rummage sale, original art, and  a petting zoo for the kids!

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Menlo Park resident Kyle Vogel takes over at the Woodside Deli

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New Woodside Deli owner Kyle Vogel has a good problem: There’s a lot of pent up demand for sandwiches and other offerings after a nine month closure. That means the lunch rush is extending all the way to 3:00 pm. “It’s a bit like a tidal wave breaking,” he said with a smile. Kyle, a […]

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Spotted: First of the season crab at Menlo Park Farmers Market

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Fisherman Pietro Parravano brought the first crab of the commercial season to the Menlo Park Farmers Market today, offering both live (pictured) and boiled crab for sale for $9.95. He said that his pots were filled with crab of “good medium size.”

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Día de los Muertos festival at Menlo Park Senior Center

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As part of school assignment, M-A junior Lena Kalotihos photographed the Día de los Muertos festival at the Menlo Park Senior Center last Friday (Nov. 2). She emails: “The decorations were absolutely beautiful, papel picado on the ceiling and pictures of the deceased family members hanging on the walls. Scattered throughout were hand-painted skulls, skeletons, pumpkins, […]

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M-A’s Canned Food Drive runs through December 7

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In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB), M-A students are collecting food from the community to help feed several hundred families in our area. The drive continues through Dec. 7. M-A students will collect cans at the following locations: – Bianchini’s in Ladera – Cardenas Market in East Palo Alto – Delucchi’s Market in […]

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Dia de los Muertos Festival on Nov. 2 in Menlo Park

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Dress like Frida and come join us for a festive evening to celebrate Día de los Muertos on Friday, Nov. 2, at the Menlo Park Senior Center (110 Terminal Ave) from 6:00 to 8:00 pm This event will have activities for those of all ages and is fun for the whole family! Join us for music, crafts, food […]

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Peas and carrots aren’t so scary when teamed with spooky pasta

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When I was a kid, cooked peas and carrots were the veggie combo that scared me to death. I couldn’t stand them, and thought they were not only mushy and tasteless but torture to eat. As an ode to my childhood fears, I made a Spooky Pasta Salad fit for Halloween night. This is what I’ve learned […]

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Chantale Doinel becomes chef in a second career

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Chantale Doinel has been an esthetician in Menlo Park since 2000, and many know her in that role. So, it may surprise some to learn she’s also a chef. Her second profession is something that came initially out of necessity. The financial crisis of 2008 saw her business plummet. “Facials are thought of as a luxury, […]

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Getting a first look at Park James Hotel O+V’s patio courtyard – and taste testing its food and drink options

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The Park James Hotel in Menlo Park is now open as is the lovely patio bar, O+V Courtyard, from 5:00 to 11:00 pm daily. Oak + Violet restaurant, featuring California farm-to-fork cuisine, will be open for dinner starting Monday, October 8. Breakfast, lunch, and brunch to follow in the weeks ahead. There is free valet parking […]

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Current exhibit at Cafe Zoë features artwork by ARTogether workshop participants

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Through at least the first week of October, Cafe Zoë is hosting a special exhibition displaying works of art from ARTogether workshop participants and photos from the workshops themselves. We stopped by yesterday afternoon to visit with Menlo Park residents Alexandra Pettet (second from left) and her husband, Hossein Namazi (right), who serve on the […]

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