“Figs on a plate” is the ubiquitous cliché of the ingredient-obsessed San Francisco restaurant world, but Daniel Patterson’s cuisine couldn’t be further from that stereotype. Gorgeous plates of minimalist, elegant cuisine that is by turn Japanese-inflected or French-inspired are his signature. Ingredients remain the focus, but the preparation is genius.
The Massachusetts-born chef, restaurateur, and food writer now helms a number of restaurants, including Coi, Alta, Aster, PB, and Haven. Patterson opened his first restaurant, Babette, when he was only 25 years old, and seven years later, earned his first James Beard Award nomination. Among his many accolades are a “Best New Chef” nod from Food & Wine, a “Chef of the Year” award from San Francisco Magazine, and a “Best Chef: West” win from the James Beard Foundation.
In his spare time, Patterson also runs The Cooking Project, a nonprofit, community-based organization he co-founded, which is dedicated to teaching kids and young adults fundamental cooking skills. He also finds time to write about food in publications like The New York Times, Food & Wine, Financial Times, and Lucky Peach. His book, Coi: Stories and Recipes (Phaidon) was published in October 2013.
He’s got tons of great recipes right here on Panna, but his genius poached scrambled eggs trick has particularly wowed our viewers.