Wine, Crime, Arson, Fire, New York City

Wine, Crime

A Celebrity Sommelier Has Allegedly Been Setting New York’s Dining Sheds on Fire

Celebrity sommelier Caleb Ganzer has been arrested on two felony counts of arson and several related crimes after allegedly setting fire to two outdoor dining sheds.

7/29/2021 11:52:00 PM

Celebrity sommelier Caleb Ganzer has been arrested on two felony counts of arson and several related crimes after allegedly setting fire to two outdoor dining sheds.

Caleb Ganzer, a managing partner at the Manhattan wine bar La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, has been arrested on charges related to late-night arson, including at two nearby restaurants.

Caleb Ganzerhas had a sparkling career as a sommelier, amassing a slew of industry accolades and a résumé flecked with high-profile positions at Michelin-starred restaurants in Manhattan. Most recently, he became a managing partner at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, a popular downtown wine bar. But over the past year, New York City Fire Department officials said on Wednesday, Ganzer has been spending some late nights in the area surrounding the bar, equipped with a lighter and a recurring maneuver. After allegedly setting fire to two outdoor dining sheds and rubbish on three separate occasions between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., the sommelier has been arrested on two felony counts of arson and several related crimes.

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In a security-camera video released by the FDNY, a man can be seen approaching one of the outdoor wooden dining structures that have become commonplace in New York and elsewhere since the coronavirus pandemic led to restrictions on indoor gatherings. He unhurriedly approaches the shed, uses a lighter to set one side of it on fire, and begins to walk away—before stopping to set fire to the other side. The FDNY said the incident took place on July 13 at 2:55 a.m. at Prince Street Pizza, where lines for a slice sometimes stretch around the block. In the video, a passerby on the opposite side of the street doesn’t appear to notice the arsonist.

According to fire officials, Ganzer set the pizzeria fire, as well as another fire at the nearby restaurant Forsythia and a third at some trash accumulated down the street from La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. The sommelier allegedly started the Forsythia fire just before midnight on January 8, and the trash fire at 4:35 a.m. on June 26. “Every act of arson has the potential to spread rapidly, endangering the lives of New Yorkers and FDNY members,” FDNY commissioner headtopics.com

Daniel Nigrosaid in a statement. “Thankfully in these incidents there were no injuries and the suspect has been apprehended before another fire could be set.”Jacob Siwak,toldThe New York Timeson Wednesday that a man had tried to set fire to the restaurant’s outdoor shed four times over the course of at least nine days in January, resulting in about $3,500 worth of repairs. Security-camera footage, Siwak said, showed a well-dressed man placing a pile of kindling next to trash, setting it aflame, and waiting for a sizable fire to build before walking away. Siwak added that several of the arson attempts were successful, classifying two of them as “pretty damaging” and noting that one resulted in flames that were at least two stories high and could’ve spread to the restaurant and the rest of the building.

Tony Sosa,the manager of Prince Street Pizza, told the paper that the damage there was less drastic, but that “it could have been very dangerous.”Before beginning his role at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, Ganzer worked as a sommelier at the famed Manhattan restaurant Eleven Madison Park, as well as at several of celebrity chef

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morgfair Damn. Glad he was arrested.

Famed sommelier Caleb Ganzer arrested, accused of arson in New York CityAuthorities believe Ganzer, a former Food & Wine magazine sommelier of the year, set fires at two restaurants and a trash bin earlier this year. BowieChuck Some headlines just make me shake my head... But whine?

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