Best New Chef 1997: Daniel Patterson
Best New Chef 1997: Daniel Patterson

Daniel Patterson

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars Restaurant: Coi (San Francisco); Plum, Plum Bar and Haven Education: Duke University (Durham, NC) What are you known for? The use of essential oils and aromas, of vegetables, of wild or foraged food, and, I hope, a certain playfulness. Favorite cookbooks of all time? I get excited when a cookbook can convey an original story in a distinctive voice. Peter Meehan did a magnificent job with the Momofuku book. The Noma cookbook is brilliant in its visual language. Rose Levy Beranbaum’s books, like The Cake Bible, are so passionate and precise. I love old cookbooks like The Great Chefs of France series from the ’70s. Those may be dated, but they capture the spirit behind these three-star chefs who sacrificed so much to their cooking. And I love, love, love all of Paula Wolfert’s cookbooks including The Cooking of Southwest France and Paula Wolfert’s World of Food. She discovered so much before chefs did: the cooking of Gascony, duck fat, low-temperature salmon cooking; her confit recipe is a little masterpiece. What’s one technique that everyone should know? How to season food. Seasoning is a dynamic process and hard to get right. Everyone cooks differently, but home cooks tend to forget about acidity. Many young line cooks confuse salt and acidity; the biggest challenge may be to learn the difference, and how they work together. Generally, I’d just suggest tasting a lot and playing around with a dish until you like it. Name one secret-weapon ingredient? Rice wine vinegar. It can give life and dimension to a sauce without tasting acidic. If you could invent an imaginary restaurant project, what would it be? My fantasy restaurant would make enough for me to live on while leaving me ample time to spend with my children. It would be open three nights a week, we’d have about six customers a night and I’d do much of the cooking myself. If you were going to take Thomas Keller, Tony Bourdain and/or Mario Batali out to eat, where would it be? Jiro Ono’s restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro (the subject of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi). We’d all go to Jiro together, and watch him work, to watch the benefits of decades of practice. What’s your favorite food letter of the alphabet? P for plant. Most of our cooking is plant-based. We definitely use fish and meat, but often more as a flavoring. The range of flavors and possibilities in working with plants is endlessly exciting. What is your current food obsession? Sea water. Some of our fishermen bring it to us from far out in the Pacific. We’ve been brining meats with it and making tofu with it. What’s the best house wine? The best house red wine is Sean Thackrey’s Pleiades, made in California. He changes the blend from vintage to vintage, but it’s always well balanced. I like that sense of discovery. What do you eat straight out of the fridge, standing up? My friend Chez Pim’s preserves. With a spoon. But don’t tell my wife, she doesn’t like me to eat things straight out of the container. Best store-bought ingredient/product? Besides Pim’s preserves? Tierra Vegetables’ dried chiles. They’re not all that new, but they come in a wonderful range of flavors from smoky to sweet, and I like spicy things. Name a dish that defines you. This dish came about when Coi first opened, because I’d never used matsutake mushrooms. I decided to serve the mushrooms with pine—maybe because I lived across the street from a pine grove—and a potato puree almost like a foam, which made a nice sweet base. Because some wood sorrel was also growing nearby, we added that for acidity then we quickly grilled the mushrooms. Of course, later I found out that matsutake means “pine mushrooms,” so I had discovered nothing, but the mushrooms and pine make such a nice combo. That gives an idea of how I work: Some of my ideas grow out of tradition, others come from where I live—from chewing on a pine needle. Favorite app?Kitchen Calculator, which converts American dumbass measurements to metric.1997 Best New Chef Bio Won Best New Chef at: Babette's, Sonoma, California (closed)
Chef and restaurateur Daniel Patterson is committed to change—starting in his own kitchens—and calls on the industry at large to take a good, hard look at itself.
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Savory Chanterelle Porridge
Rating: Unrated
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This dish was inspired by congee, the smooth porridge that Chinese farmers make from broken grains of rice left over from threshing. Patterson cracks rice in a grain mill, but you can also break the grains in a spice mill or simply purchase broken rice at Asian markets. Slideshow: More Recipes With MushroomsRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 
This light, refreshing soup combines sweet red bell peppers with more intensely flavored roasted piquillo peppers. The recipe calls for fresh cranberry beans and green or wax beans, but you can use any combination of shelling and pole beans that are in season. Slideshow:  More Warming Soup RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 
Sorghum, a type of grass, has seeds that can be popped like popcorn. Patterson tops his nutty, crunchy quinoa salad with popped sorghum, which gives it a buttery flavor. You can also substitute regular popping corn. Slideshow: More Quinoa RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 
LocoL Dipping Sauce
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Chefs Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi season their awesome tomato-based spicy sauce with Korean chile paste and use it with everything from fries and onion rings to burgers and chicken.
Good cooks rely on recipes, but only to a point. Chef Daniel Patterson examines the pitfalls of written directions and urges a return to a riskier—and ultimately more rewarding—approach.
Throw away your tongs and toss your food processor. Chef Daniel Patterson believes that in the kitchen, nothing can replace human hands.
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Daniel Patterson uses dandelion greens instead of the usual parsley to add a slightly bitter edge to his salsa verde. Slideshow: Potato Side Dishes 
Chef Daniel Patterson uses ground dried seaweed as a rub to coat thick pork chops before pan-roasting them. This is a simplified version of the dish Patterson created, in which he cooked seaweed with garam masala and soy sauce then dehydrated and ground it. More Pork Chop Recipes
Throw away your tongs and toss your food processor. Chef Daniel Patterson believes that in the kitchen, nothing can replace human hands.
Daniel Patterson uses dandelion greens instead of the usual parsley to add a slightly bitter edge to his salsa verde. Slideshow: Potato Side Dishes 
Chef Daniel Patterson uses ground dried seaweed as a rub to coat thick pork chops before pan-roasting them. This is a simplified version of the dish Patterson created, in which he cooked seaweed with garam masala and soy sauce then dehydrated and ground it. More Pork Chop Recipes
Chef Daniel Patterson garnishes his comforting winter vegetable sauté—potato wedges, baby artichokes and mushrooms—with shavings of hard goat cheese. When he makes this at home, he puts the artichokes directly in the pan (here they’re rubbed with lemon so they don’t brown).More Potato Side Dish Recipes
Chef Daniel Patterson conceived of this unconventional method for making eggs: He beats the eggs, cooks them quickly in a vortex of boiling water, then immediately drains them. The result is super-creamy, perfectly scrambled eggs; topped with goat cheese sauce, the dish becomes a kind of reverse omelet. If you’re scrambling just one egg, the cooking time will be 20 seconds. For four eggs, the time increases to 40 seconds.More Egg Recipes
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Lemon-Ricotta Pudding
Rating: Unrated
New!
Besides being so much creamier and silkier than the store-bought version, homemade ricotta is surprisingly easy to prepare. Daniel Patterson likes to use it in this highly versatile lemon-accented pudding, which can be served as a starter with a cherry tomato-and-basil salad or at the end of a meal with honey or strawberries. Any leftover ricotta is excellent spread on toast. Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips
To create these pancakes, chefs Daniel Patterson and René Redzepi started with a standard cornmeal pancake recipe they found online. They added rice flour to make the pancakes light and served them with brown butter studded with bits of fresh lemon and sage. Like all good pancakes, they’re served with warm maple syrup, too.Healthy Breakfast Recipes
Here is one case in which you shouldn't buy best-quality ingredients for a dish: The coffee beans that the thin-skinned winter squash bake in cannot be reused, so be sure to use inexpensive ones.