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Palo Alto will let chef José Andrés use natural gas in his new restaurant

Chef José Andrés will be able to cook with natural gas in his new restaurant in Palo Alto, despite a municipal ban.

After a legal mess, Andrés is set to open his Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya at the upscale Stanford Mall with the gas appliances needed to “achieve his signature, complex flavors,” the lawyers for the claim said. mall.

City regulations prohibiting new buildings from using natural gas went into effect in early 2023, putting the mall developer and Andrés’ restaurant in a bind. In a letter to the city attorney, attorneys for the Stanford Mall wrote that “portions of the project were built or under construction when the city’s new all-electric building rule went into effect.”

The lawyers argued that “Zaytinya relies on traditional cooking methods” that could not work without gas. The letter included a threat: Without gas hookups or appliances, “Zaytinya will probably choose not to settle in the city.”

Palo Alto gave in.

“Due to the multi-year planning effort that began in 2019, three years before the city adopted the all-electric requirement, the city and the mall have agreed that this unique project should be able to continue with gas service consistent with long-established project plans,” the city said in a press release, which made no mention of Andrés or his new restaurant.

As gasoline bans take effect in California cities, more restaurants could find themselves in lockdown. In some cities, restaurants are exempt as a category.

Los Angeles Times

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