Dominique Crenn, a two-Michelin-starred chef, transforms mushrooms, herbs and pine into a naturalistic dish with a lyrical name.


Throughout January, F&W will spotlight the top women in food and drink. Nominate the women who inspire you using @foodandwine and #FOODWINEWOMEN and they could be featured next.

Chef Dominique Crenn of San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn creates astonishing nature scenes—complex, precise, highly stylized—with an elegance befitting her two Michelin stars. When the Jeremiah Tower acolyte compares these dishes to a poem, it is without irony. “Walking deep in the woods, as the earth might have something to spare” evokes early summer mornings she spent gathering wild mushrooms with her father in Brittany, France. She braises, bakes, purees and dehydrates a variety of mushrooms for the dish to bring out their essence. “I’ve loved mushrooms since I was a child,” she says. “They are the closest we come to tasting the earth itself.” 3127 Fillmore St.;

Here is the anatomy of Crenn's naturalistic dish (pictured above):

1. Mushroom puree
2. Nasturtium leaves
3. Pine meringue
4. Basil soil
5. Matsutake mushroom stem
6. Dehydrated mushroom "paper"
7. Maitake mushroom