Sommelier charged for NYC arson attacks, including rival restaurants

A one-time “sommelier of the year” was apparently far too obsessive about fiery reds — getting charged this week in connection to a trio of Manhattan arson assaults, authorities stated.

Caleb Ganzer — the 35-year-old managing partner of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels on Centre Street — was first busted after he was caught beginning a hearth to Prince Street Pizza’s out of doors eating shed in Nolita within the early hours of July 13, FDNY Fire Marshals stated.

Surveillance footage reveals a shorts-wearing man casually utilizing a lighter to begin a small blaze in a single nook, doing the identical to the opposite finish of the out of doors space as he strolls off.

Photographs confirmed the construction was badly charred by the blaze.

After a “thorough investigation” and arrest of Ganzer — who has labored at a few of Manhattan’s most unique restaurants — investigators tied him to 2 different decrease Manhattan assaults that “fit the same pattern,” the marshalls stated.

The first was from late on Jan. 8 to a different out of doors eating construction, this time to Forsythia Restaurant on Stanton Street within the Lower East Side, near the place Ganzer seems to reside.

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

Owner Jacob Siwak told The New York Times that somebody had tried to mild a hearth no less than 4 occasions over 9 days that month — saying it price $3,500 to restore the shed after each ends burned down fully.

One sparked flames no less than two tales excessive that threatened to unfold to the restaurant and even the remainder of the constructing, he stated.

Siwak instructed the paper he “was expecting it to be a guy that flicked a cigarette butt in the trash or a homeless man trying to keep warm.”

Instead, his safety cameras confirmed a nattily dressed man who had even unpacked kindling from his backpack to begin fires.

Investigators additionally tied Ganzer to a trash hearth on the nook of Broome and Centre Streets, near his personal institution.

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

They included two counts of third-degree arson, two counts of third-degree felony mischief and three counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, the FDNY stated. The case will likely be prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

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 work left three restaurants charred.
Prince Street Pizza's outdoor eating venue was lit aflame.
Prince Street Pizza’s out of doors consuming venue was lit aflame.

“Every act of arson has the potential to spread rapidly, endangering the lives of New Yorkers and FDNY members,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro stated. “Thankfully in these incidents there were no injuries and the suspect has been apprehended before another fire could be set.”

Ganzer was not instantly obtainable for remark, and his social media appeared to have been switched to personal settings since his arrest.

“We as the company are aware of the incident, and Mr. Ganzer is on a leave of absence,” La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels instructed the Times, refusing to remark additional.

Originally from Illinois, Ganzer lived for a time in Paris earlier than settling in New York a few dozen years in the past, in accordance with a 2017 article in The Daily Journal to mark his “Food and Wine” honor.

“New York’s become home,” he instructed the paper on the time.

However, in a current interview with Sommelier Business, he complained in regards to the “sort of existentially crippling” strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bio on Great Sommeliers famous that he has labored at a number of restaurants owned by the chef Daniel Boulud, including Daniel and DBGB.

The website additionally includes a video of him utilizing a blow torch to arrange port wine whereas he was the sommelier at Eleven Madison Park .

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

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