The veal dish that chef Daniel Humm (pronounced whom) makes at New York City’s Eleven Madison Park requires a kitchen staff of 60 to create. One cook poaches the tenderloin sous-vide for 45 minutes. Another prepares a morel stock and turns it into a sheet of jelly using agar agar. A third cook stamps out rounds of the jelly and passes them, with a tiny dice of fava beans, shallots and morels, to yet one more cook to assemble.
But when the 32-year-old Humm (an F&W Best New Chef 2005) goes home to Switzerland for vacation, he makes veal the way his mother might: by simply roasting it in the oven with garlic and marjoram. “The idea is the same as at the restaurant,” Humm said. “We’re still using great ingredients. But we don’t have 10 things on the plate.”
Humm prepared this stellar roast last summer on a trip to the mountains overlooking Lake Maggiore, near Switzerland’s Italian border. He, his girlfriend, Geneén Wright, and his 13-year-old daughter, Justine, were visiting their friends Peter Marty and Sophie Beyeler. Humm met Marty more than 15 years ago, while the two were working for the Swiss caterer Gamma. Marty went on to run his own Zurich catering company; Humm earned a Michelin star at age 24 at Gasthaus zum Gupf, about an hour from the city.