Why Because, as he says, "I take flavor combinations that have been around for centuries and do something a little different." This can mean transforming spring basics like peas, mint and morels into a terrific vibrantly hued soup.
Born Zurich, Switzerland; 1976.
Experience Le Pont de Brent in Brent, Switzerland; Gasthaus zum Gupf in Rehetobel, Switzerland.
Least favorite childhood chore Washing greens. "I hated it. My mom would make me wash a salad six times until it was clean, even more if it had rained and the greens were dirty."
Most memorable experience Cooking with Gérard Rabaey, the chef at Le Pont de Brent. "Everything was so organized. When vegetables came in, you separated them into five different sizes. It was insane."
Culinary obsession Slow cooking. "We're doing low-temperature cooking, like slow-roasting fish at 160° to keep the flavor pure. We don't sear as much as we used to; the searing flavor has gotten too strong for me."
Newest collaborator Food scientist and regular customer Harold McGee. "I have a dish called Fantasy of Eggs. I wanted the yolks to cook but look raw. Harold tried it using a 130° water bath and it worked. Now, when I have a question, I call him."
Won Best New Chef at: Campton Place; San Francisco
- Fresh Snow Pea Salad
- Poached Shrimp, Melon and Frisée Salad
- Roasted Peaches with Mascarpone Ice Cream
- Tomato, Prosciutto and Gruyère Sandwiches
- Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese
- Cherry Gazpacho with Basil
- Grilled Apricot, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad