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Home > DINING WITH CHEFS > New York Dining with Chefs > Eleven Madison Park (Part 1 of 2)

Eleven Madison Park

Executive Chef Daniel Humm

    Balik Salmon with Pommes Dauphine, Frisee and Crème Fraiche

TravelsinTaste.com recently sat down with Executive Chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, a gem in the portfolio of Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group and the recent recipient of one Michelin star for 2010. Because he accomplished so much at such a young age, we were eager to ask Chef Humm a number of questions about his life, including why he left the West Coast for the East Coast and how the recession has affected his purveyors. During our meal, we learned the answers to those questions and others, and even learned one of Chef Humm's secrets: After 20 years of cooking, he still uses the same brand of knife he started with - Victorinox. "It is like an extension of my hands in the kitchen," he told us. "Maybe the most important tool." The most important tool behind his technique, that is, which we got to sample firsthand during our meal with the esteemed chef.

Big Eye Tuna Tartare with Radish, Yuzu and Sesame

We began that meal with the first of many questions: How did you find your way to Eleven Madison Park in New York from the San Francisco Bay area, where you were known as the chef who earned Campton Place its four-star status? "The first time I was nominated for the James Beard Award, I came to New York and I ate in different restaurants," Chef Humm explained. "I felt the energy and knew one day that if I wanted to be with the big guys, I needed to make it in New York. For me, the success on the West Coast was great, but I was 25 years old -- pretty young -- and still had a lot left to accomplish. If you really want to make it big, New York is the place to be. It is the most challenging, it has the most competition and it’s the toughest, too. I wanted to play in New York. I wanted to contribute to what is going on in New York."

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