Why he won Because his French-inspired American dishes are informed by the cooking he's done around the world.
Born Stillwater, Minnesota; 1971.
Education California Culinary Academy, San Francisco.
Experience Flying Saucer, Aqua and Stars, all in San Francisco; Stars in Singapore; Ladurée in Paris.
Most memorable cooking experience "When I was a caterer, I went to Alaska to cook on an 86-foot yacht. I brought truffles and a pasta machine. We pulled crabs right from the water. I remember standing on the end of the boat, grilling lamb chops and looking at the mountains."
What he'd be if he wasn't a chef "Broke on a beach with a surfboard. Or I'd be an architect. But the beach scenario is more realistic."
Favorite cheap eat The Double Everythang Burger at Seattle's CC's Burgers. "It's two patties with mushrooms, sautéed onions, cheese, sweet pickles, special sauce, bacon and a hot sausage link. It's ridiculous. A contractor introduced me to it; he used a hacksaw to cut it up."
Dream restaurant "I'd open a place with mixologist Ryan Magarian. We'd have a food kitchen and a liquid kitchen."
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.