The Gatherers’ Gathering
In global gastronomy, Rene Redzepi (Noma), Massimo Botura (Osteria Francescana), Alex Atala (D.O.M.), Inaki Aiziparte (Le Chateaubriand) have at least two things in common: Their restaurants all the top 10 of 2011’s San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. They’re also part of an elite band of roving chefs.
Formed in 2009, Cook it Raw convenes periodically in remote locations to forage and prepare spectacular, sustainable feasts. Of its dozen or so participants, one hails from California soil. Daniel Patterson-the two Michelin-starred chef/owner of S.F.’s Coi and Oakland’s Plum-will head to Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan later this month. There, he’ll connect with nature as he previously did in Collio, Copenhagen and Lapland. Toques, for example, get lost in the woodlands and emerge with bags of rare oddities like elk moss and forest fungi or buckets of mysterious berries. Each talent then works magic with his bounty: Momofuku’s David Chang and Combal Zero’s Davide Scabin have served reindeer milk with just-caught salmon and Lapland dashi, while Patterson has used open-fire techniques for baked beetroot with reindeer blood, juniper, wild blueberries, half-dried lingonberries and sorrel.
Back in the Bay Area, it’s a busy fall: Patterson’s in the midst of opening Plum Bar (adjacent to Plum on Broadway), and, over at Jack London Square, he’s working with Kim Alter (formerly of Plate Shop) on forthcoming eatery Haven. Will Albert Adria or Yoshihiro Narisawa be spotted wandering Mendocino or Point Reyes any time soon? Possibly: California’s on the short list for a future Cook it Raw.