In a move that infuriated law enforcement agencies around the globe, the World's 50 Best Restaurants organization has named fugitive San Francisco chef Dominique Crenn the "best female chef in the world", setting off both raucous celebrations and angry protests in her native France and adoptive California.
Crenn, who has been on the run since 2014 after a well-publicized felonious incident in Los Angeles, has managed to elude authorities despite making occasional public - albeit unannounced - appearances. More alarmingly, she has somehow been able to orchestrate Atelier Crenn, her two-star Michelin restaurant in San Francisco while on the lam
Meanwhile. the FBI today named chef Elizabeth Falkner as a "person of interest" in the case of the hunt for Crenn. A law enforcement source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the FBI thinks Falkner, known for her unique ability to crash at various pads throughout Europe and America, could be aiding and abetting Crenn's unlawful flight.
When asked point blank about the "Crenn / Falkner" connection at a news conference in Los Angeles, the FBI was vague.
"Let's just say Crenn is getting help from someone," said FBI special agent Efram Zimbalist, III, special agent-in-charge of the Los Angeles field office. "She can't be out there all alone. We know she's popular woman, almost like a beloved outlaw in that wacky chef community. So she has many friends. We also know for a fact that Crenn was recently seen in public with Falkner. So, Elizabeth Falkner, if you read this, you need to contact us immediately."
Photographs of Crenn and Falkner partying in Los Angeles in mid-April at various sites went virile on the world wide web when they were posted The two were seen in Century City, Paramount Studios and Connie and Ted's restaurant in West Hollywood.
Connie and Ted's owner Michael Cimarusti said he had no knowledge that either Crenn or Falkner had been to his restaurant. Mysteriously, when the FBI asked to see security tapes, Connie and Ted's manager, Murray Rubinstein, told agents the cameras were turned off that day in honor of the birthday of Philadelphia Flyer hockey great Bobby Clarke.
"That didn't make any goddamn sense to me," said FBI agent Zimbalist III. "What would Clarke's birthday have to do with security cameras being on or off? To make matters really fishy is that Clarke was born on a August 13th."
Rumors flew that Crenn was not only with Falkner. but fellow chefs Brooke Williamson, Antonia Lofaso, Johanne "Fetunta" Killeen and a woman known only as "Miss Florida".
Reports surfaced at press time that even the legendary Nancy Silverton was with the outlaw and the crasher. When this reporter went to Silverton's house Sunday in the Windsor Square sector of Los Angeles she denied having seen them, but only seemed to deepen the mystery.
"I havent seen either of them," said Silverton. "But i just got home and, for all i know, if she's with Falkner, well, they could both be upstairs sleeping in the guest bedrooms."
Crenn is nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef in the West. The ceremony is Monday May 2, Will Crenn be there?
Authorities are not taking any chance. Security around the Lyric Opera House where the awards will be held is said to be the highest in Chicago since the 1968 Democratic Presidential Convention.
Previous winners of the Best Female chef include Helene Darroze, Helena Rizzo, Nadia Santini and Elena Arzak
To see the original article about Crenn's felony assault of fellow 2-star Michelin chef Josiah Citrin, check this link.
For more on Falkner's dubious past, check this.