Joshua Skene Photo from 2011 By Matt Sarnecki

Joshua Skenes, executive chef and owner of Saison on Folsom Street, discusses his restaurant and food philosophy. On Tuesday, the esteemed Michelin Guide unveiled its list of starred restaurants for 2012, upgrading Saison from one to two stars. The restaurant now joins the ranks of only seven others in the San Francisco Bay Area and Wine Country with two or more stars.

In 2009, Saison debuted in the back of the Stable Cafe with dinner service once a week. It was a pop-up restaurant even though, according to Skenes, “We didn’t know what a pop-up was. We just called it ‘Sunday Nights at Saison.’” Soon after, Skenes extended evening seatings to three nights a week.

In April 2010, Saison closed briefly for remodeling, reopening a few months later as a full-scale restaurant with dinner service five nights a week.

In 2010, the San Francisco Chronicle honored Skenes as one of its five “Rising Star Chefs” in the Bay Area. Earlier this year, Food & Wine magazine named Skenes one of 10 “Best New Chefs 2011” in the United States. Skenes was the only chef from San Francisco to receive the award this year.

Saison: 2124 Folsom Street, between 17th and 18th streets; 415-828-7990. Service: Tuesday-Saturday, 6-9 p.m.

Approximately $170 per person, $270 with wine pairing. Chef’s Counter extended menu: $198 per person, $325 with wine pairing.

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