When I first arrived in the Bay Area to run an arts organization, I took each member of my small team to the restaurant of their choice to get to hear their vision for our work together. My first trip was to COCO500, at the time, the restaurant where recent Top Chef contestant Jennifer Biesty was the chef. The food was delicious and memorable even years later. Duck confit and fried green beans with a set of delicious small plates were all fantastic.
I was excited to see that Chef Jen and Chef Tim Nugent (also a former Top Chef contestant) are working on opening Shakewell Bar and Kitchen right here on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland. The pair, who have been working together at San Francisco’s Scala’s Bistro and friends for fifteen years, launched a Kickstarter campaign and have just about a week to go. As of this writing, they’ve raised $53,790 from 280 backers.
The rewards for contributing include jars of stone fruit preserves, dark chocolate truffles prepared by Chef Tim, and several levels of dining gift certificates, including appetizers with pairings at the bar, lunches and dinners at the restaurant, all the way up to an in-home five-course dinner for eight. Having just completed a Kickstarter campaign with my work team, I jumped at the chance to check in and learn more about their new venture and the role crowdfunding would play in bringing Shakewell to life.
I checked in with Chef Tim who will be heading up the dessert and pastry program at the new bar and restaurant along with serving as co-owner with Chef Jen. He took the time to answer some of the questions I had about both Kickstarter funding and the new venture: