Chef Michael Chiarello, founder of NapaStyle, is opening his first retail operation (called NapaStyle) on Sat. Sept. 30 in Berkeley, CA. (read the press release). NapaStyle’s 3800 square-foot store, located in Berkeley’s Fourth Street shopping area, will feature specialty foods, home furnishings and cookware. Interestingly, the NapaStyle store uses 75% salvaged materials, such as barnwood, corrugated tin, and other eco-friendly and heritage objects in its interior.
It points to the growing “brand extension” of celebrity chefs like Mario Batali, Rachael Ray and Ina Garten (love the Barefoot Contessa!), who in the past year or so have put their names on cookware and food products. Hey, I’m not knocking it. Athletes and Hollywood celebs have been doing it for decades. It’s about time the culinary stars are making it work for them.