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Sommelier charged for NYC arson attacks, including rival restaurants

A one-time “sommelier of the year” was seemingly considerably far too obsessed with fiery reds — acquiring charged this week in relationship to a trio of Manhattan arson assaults, authorities mentioned.

Caleb Ganzer — the 35-year-previous taking care of associate of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels on Centre Road — was first busted after he was caught starting a hearth to Prince Street Pizza’s outdoor dining get rid of in Nolita in the early several hours of July 13, FDNY Hearth Marshals claimed.

Surveillance footage displays a shorts-sporting guy casually employing a lighter to get started a compact blaze in 1 corner, carrying out the same to the other conclusion of the outside place as he strolls off.

Photographs confirmed the construction was badly charred by the blaze.

Following a “thorough investigation” and arrest of Ganzer — who has labored at some of Manhattan’s most exceptional dining places — investigators tied him to two other decreased Manhattan assaults that “fit the exact same pattern,” the marshalls reported.

The 1st was from late on Jan. 8 to one more out of doors eating framework, this time to Forsythia Restaurant on Stanton Road in the Lessen East Facet, shut to where Ganzer appears to reside.

Gazer's mugshot.
Caleb Ganzer lit up a rival restauraunt.

Proprietor Jacob Siwak informed The New York Occasions that a person had tried to light-weight a hearth at the very least four instances above 9 days that month — declaring it expense $3,500 to fix the get rid of immediately after each finishes burned down wholly.

1 sparked flames at least two tales large that threatened to unfold to the restaurant and even the relaxation of the constructing, he stated.

Siwak explained to the paper he “was expecting it to be a person that flicked a cigarette butt in the trash or a homeless man making an attempt to hold warm.”

Rather, his protection cameras showed a nattily dressed male who experienced even unpacked kindling from his backpack to start fires.

Investigators also tied Ganzer to a trash hearth on the corner of Broome and Centre Streets, shut to his own institution.

 Ganzer — who was “Food & Wine” magazine’s “sommelier of the year” in 2017 — was hit with a slew of expenses.

They incorporated two counts of third-degree arson, two counts of third-degree legal mischief and 3 counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, the FDNY said. The scenario will be prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Business.

Caleb Ganzer former 2017 Food & Wine magazine sommelier of the year and a partner at wine bar La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels on Centre Street, was arrested and charged with allegedly setting these fires.
Caleb Ganzer’s arson operate remaining three restaurants charred.
Prince Street Pizza's outdoor eating venue was lit aflame.
Prince Street Pizza’s outdoor taking in location was lit aflame.

“Every act of arson has the probable to distribute promptly, endangering the lives of New Yorkers and FDNY associates,” Fireplace Commissioner Daniel Nigro claimed. “Thankfully in these incidents there ended up no accidents and the suspect has been apprehended prior to an additional hearth could be set.”

Ganzer was not right away offered for comment, and his social media appeared to have been switched to non-public settings considering the fact that his arrest.

“We as the corporation are knowledgeable of the incident, and Mr. Ganzer is on a depart of absence,” La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels told The Publish, refusing to comment further.

Initially from Illinois, Ganzer lived for a time in Paris ahead of settling in New York about a dozen yrs ago, according to a 2017 report in The Day by day Journal to mark his “Food and Wine” honor.

“New York’s grow to be house,” he instructed the paper at the time.

On the other hand, in a current interview with Sommelier Company, he complained about the “sort of existentially crippling” stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bio on Great Sommeliers noted that he has labored at many dining places owned by the chef Daniel Boulud, together with Daniel and DBGB.

The site also capabilities a online video of him utilizing a blow torch to get ready port wine although he was the sommelier at Eleven Madison Park .

With a major smile, he states, “This is the most dramatic aspect of it — it’s the fire.”

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