Today in WTF news, a celebrated star sommelier has been accused of setting local outdoor dining structures on fire.
As first reported by the New York Times, one Caleb Ganzer was named by fire officials as the mystery arsonist who burnt up the wooden sheds of Lower East Side restaurant Forsythia in January and Prince Street Pizza on July 13th. He's been arrested and charged with two felony counts of arson and other crimes, including starting a trash fire in June.
The 35-year-old, who was once hailed as one of Food & Wine's Sommeliers of the Year, is a managing partner at acclaimed Manhattan wine bar, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, and has previously worked at Eleven Madison Park.
Ganzer was apparently done in by security footage. According to Forsythia’s owner, he was caught on camera attempting to set the dining structure ablaze four times back in January, causing damage each time - and eventually costing the eatery around $3,500 to repair the structure. The damage was less severe at Prince Street Pizza but, as the owner told the Times, "it could have been very dangerous."
Ganzer has yet to reveal the motive behind the fires, but like, this year has clearly pushed a lot of us over the edge. Here's hoping he just chills out with a nice big glass of wine next time.
[The dining structure at Forsythia via @nyc.date.spots]