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Napa chef, a life-long Chiefs fan, rooting for both teams as cousin suits up for 49ers

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Lawrence, Nakia

Napa chef

By Andrea Nakano

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    SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — While 49er fans in the Bay Area will be cheering for the red and gold, it’s not that simple for one Napa chef.

Darryl Bell has a major conflict as his Kansas City roots collide with a family member who is suiting up for the 49ers this weekend.

Darryl Bell owns Stateline Road Smokehouse in Napa which features authentic Kansas City barbecue. He’s going back home this weekend to watch the game with his family in Missouri but a part of him will be rooting for the 49ers as well.

Chef Darryl Bell’s fans line up outside his restaurant at the Oxbow Market for a taste of his Kansas City barbecue.

He said he knew at the age of 8 that he wanted to be a chef. While some kids are hooked on video games, cooking in the kitchen was his passion. Getting grounded when he was a kid meant he couldn’t cook for his family of six.

“The family just saying, ‘Alright, we see that you enjoy this so much to the point where if you’re going to get in trouble, we’re going to take this away from you,'” Bell said.

While cooking is his first love, he did play linebacker growing up and there was only one team he rooted for.

“It’s been over 30 years as a die-hard. I mean a die-hard Chiefs fan all the way,” he told KPIX.

But for the first time in his life, family ties turned him into somewhat of a 49ers fan.

“It’s a true conflict for sure,” Bell said.

His cousin Ronnie Bell is a rookie wide receiver for the 49ers.

“I want the Chiefs to do great and do what they do, but blood is blood. So you got to root for Ronnie,” Bell said.

Bell hopes his cousin does well on Sunday, but his heart is hoping for another Super Bowl win for KC.

Off the field, the chef knows all about having to be on top of his game. After working in France and under chef Thomas Keller, Bell is opening his first permanent restaurant in Napa.

He is making history by becoming the first to open a Black-owned restaurant in the city.

“My goal with this is to make it something to the point where I can look up two to three years from now and say, ‘OK, there’s another Black-owned restaurant here and there’s another Black-owned restaurant over here, and we’re not the only ones,'” Bell said.

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