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Coolest Cuisine

New partner and new ingredients keep Flea Street Cafe moving forward.


Before seasonally driven cuisine was cool, there was Jesse Cool. For more than three decades, she’s served up signature fresh cuisine at Menlo Park’s Late for The Train (1979 to 2004), and Flea St. Cafe and Cantor Arts’ Cool Café at Stanford University. Recently, she added a new business partner, Michael Biesemeyer, a former Flea Street server and captain at Protégé who is also the founder of Swerver, a company that helps restaurants with social media. “It is a wonderful breath of the future to have Michael help me take the business forward,” she says. Flea Street executive chef Ned Barenfanger also puts forward-spin on the menu—adding arugula pesto and blood orange to classic browned scallops, and pure spring ramps and chanterelles to the cafe’s cloudlike gnocchi. But they all know when restraint is needed. The baskets of Martin’s biscuits on each table, named for Jesse’s dad, will remain unchanged. 3607 Alameda de las Pulgas, 650.854.1226


Originally published in the March issue of Silicon Valley

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