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Chef Intel

Scenes from a Chef Marriage


Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty, co-chefs at San Francisco’s Sons & Daughters, reveal the creative tension that comes from sharing authority.

Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty

© Jake Malmberg.

Menu Change-Ups
Moriarty: “Matt moves in five directions at once, while I tend to focus on one thing at a time.”
McNamara: “Teague is very grounded and consistent—it keeps me focused but it can also be an old-man mentality.”
Moriarty: “If I were on my own, I would keep the same menu for six months. Matt would have changed it 3,000 times by then. These days, we’ll switch out a dish every few weeks.”

Decadent Ingredients
McNamara: “I created a menu loaded with all these rich, over-the-top proteins, like sea urchin and abalone.”
Moriarty: “Those things are awesome, but it’s not a balanced awesome. My favorite dishes are vegetable-driven.”
McNamara: “In the end, we went his way. It was better.”

Dessert Debate
Moriarty: “We argue about the mignardise, the small sweets at the end of the meal. I love our old caramel-agastache truffles.”
McNamara: “The agastache, an herb from our garden, is great, but truffles are super-pedestrian.”
Moriarty: “Now we serve these chocolate-caramel candies; they irk me because I don’t think they’re cut correctly.”
McNamara: “I think they’re fun—they’re like Tootsie Rolls!”

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