Portland's got a live one! This afternoon, Portland Monthly confirmed the rumor we've heard floating around for months: That Jason Neroni, formerly of New York City's 10 Downing and 71 Clinton, will soon be cooking things up at Saucebox, the Asian-influenced piece of flair in Bruce Carey's local restaurant empire.
And in addition to an impressive culinary pedigree, Neroni moves to Portland with an equally impressive shitshow of a file, courtesy our friends at Eater NY and Gawker. From what we can piece together: Negroni had a famous, uh, "misunderstanding" with Porchetta owner Marco Rivero (Complete with allegations of thievery! Misappropriation of funds!), and depending on whose account you believe, Neroni may or may not have spent some time in jail as a result. (He's now referred to on Eater NY as "our favorite chef who never did jail time and yours.")
After a brief stint consulting/launching at the East Village's Cantina and a fairly successful stint at 10 Downing (Frank Bruni wrote of him in March 2009 that "Jason Neroni is a restless sort, brimming with ideas, bursting with ambition. That quality is at once the engine of his success so far and a threat to its development"), Neroni seems to have left New York for the west coast in the fall of 2009. No word yet on what's brought him to Carey's attention, but man, this city's just gotten that much more exciting.
· New Chef at Saucebox! [Eat Beat]
· All Previous Jason Neroni Coverage [Eater NY]
· All Previous Bruce Carey Coverage [Eater PDX]