- Chef Daniel Humm and his manager at Eleven Madison Park, Will Guidara
- Daniel plates a sea urchin and shaved foie hors d'oeuvre
- Plating gougeres
- The menu for the night
- Finishing touches on the first course
- Second course: John Dory
- Daniel in the bar, mingling
- table setting at Campton Place
- More mingling
- A peek into the cookbook
Still coming down from appearances on Martha Stewart, and Good Morning America, chef Daniel Humm was in San Francisco on Saturday night, cooking a 5-course meal at Taj Campton Place, the restaurant where he once earned a glowing four-star review from Sir Michael Bauer, and was launched into the spotlight of American chef-dom. The comeback, he said, was emotional. Since moving to New York in 2006, Humm has made enormous strides at his current post as executive chef at Eleven Madison Park. Not only did he purchase said restaurant from one Danny Meyer, not only did he earn three Michelin stars, but he also completed his first cookbook: Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook. In the gallery above, take a look at the highlights from the pinnacle of his trip: one mouth-watering five course meal cooked for those that have missed him since the Campton Place days (and were willing to fork over $290). After the hop, don't miss additional news nuggets gleaned from the night that was.
1) This was Humm's first trip to SF in two years, and it was a quick one. In between signings and such, he managed to sit down for lunches at Tartine and Mission Chinese Food and dinners at Benu and Coi. "I'm really inspired in SF," he said. "In New York the seafood is better, but here the produce is so inspiring."
2) At the end of the night Humm signed a cookbook for every diner in the room. He said the hardest part of producing the book was finding people who could commit themselves full-time. Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook came out on 11/11/11, and it's already in the middle of the third printing. They're doing something right.
3) Dinner included five courses, all of them from the book. Many felt that the first course: a langoustine ceviche with celery and green apple, stole the show.
4) When asked if he'd ever do another cookbook, Humm revealed that he's actually already almost done the next one, called I Love New York. The book takes an innovative-sounding West Coast approach to New York ingredients, highlighting farmers and offering about three recipes for each one. As of now, he's still in negotiations with publishers and says the best option may be to self-publish. "We do things differently," he added.
5) At the dinner, Humm remarked that not much has changed at the Taj Campton Place since he's been there. The arresting Chihuly-esque light fixure in the dining room, and many of the same cooks and bussers are still there. He also called out his unconventional relationship with Eleven Madison Park's Will Guidara who serves as GM, close friend and the godfather to his baby.