La Belle Vie pastry chef Diane Yang will leave the Tim McKee restaurant after ten years to join the ever-growing Gavin Kaysen camp over at Merchant, set to open this fall in North Loop. Stepping into her place is Niki Francioli, who recently helped open Brasserie Zentral and before that was at another McKee joint, Sea Change.
Yang is currently in New York staging at Daniel and Cafe Boulud, where Kaysen was until recently the executive chef. She's the second longtime La Belle Vie alum to depart this summer for Merchant; wine director Bill Summerville left in mid-May after almost a decade at the fine-dining establishment.
· Pastry Quake 2.0 [MSP]
· All Merchant Coverage [-EMPLS-]
La Belle Vie. [Photo: Tasting the Twin Cities]