Electric chef

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Bear necessities: Jay Peacock took over as executive chef of The Golden Bear (2326 K Street) on July 2. The popular bar and brunch spot operates out of a converted house that’s more than a century old. So the amenities aren’t quite what Peacock’s had at other restaurants in Sacramento and San Francisco.

“Essentially, the kitchen is just what you would find in a normal person’s house,” he said. “There’s an electric range, an electric stove. There’s no gas and very, very limited space.”

The chef will adapt to his humble equipment by crafting small menus filled with locally sourced ingredients. He plans to draw on his experience from working in restaurants like the Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, which frequently changed menus when he was sous chef to the youngest American-born Michelin Star recipient, Joey Elenterio.

“A smaller menu gives a more intimate feeling of the chef’s goal in the kitchen,” he said. “If you give people too many choices, then they get overwhelmed and their dining experience is taken away from them. [I prefer] telling them what’s good and how it comes.”

Peacock kicked off the summer by debuting a salad ($11) based around young chicory that’s grown in Sacramento and dressed with citrus, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. After having concerns with the quality of Golden Bear’s elk burger, he replaced it with lamb sourced from Five Dot Ranch in Napa. He dolls that up with Gorgonzola, crimini mushrooms and a red onion marmalade—topped with some fresh-from-the-bag Funyuns ($13).

Beyond his convenience store garnishes, Peacock stands out for his other gig—playing hard and fast drums for the nationally touring grindcore band Invertebrate.

“Playing live in front of people, it’s the one moment where I feel I can truly be who I am,” he said. “And the same would go with food for me as well. When I’m putting something on a plate, it’s kinda like putting myself on a plate.”

Hot menu: Chefs Jay C. Veregge and William “Matty” Love unveiled a summer menu for The Firehouse Restaurant (1112 Second Street) on July 10. It includes truffle and local squash crepes for a first course; summer melon and prosciutto for a second; and sauteed, Pacific scallops with polenta dumplings for a third. Guests can choose from 2,100 labels for their wine pairing.