The Dish: Chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park
Serving up French cuisine with a New York twist at the Mandarin Grill + Bar
At the age of 24, he became the youngest Swiss chef to be awarded a Michelin star, and now, he's heralded as one of America's top chefs. Meet chef Daniel Humm of New York's famed three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park, who will be serving up his signature dishes from 13-17 March 2013 at the Mandarin Grill + Bar in Hong Kong.
We sat down with chef Humm (which is pronounced like 'whom', he says) to get 'The Dish' on how he got into cooking, his must-have kitchen tool and what he's eaten in Hong Kong so far.
Name: Daniel Humm
Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland
Based in: New York since 2004 -- I consider myself a true New Yorker now!
How I got into cooking: My dad wanted me to go into architecture but I decided to go into cooking instead. I've been cooking professionally since I was 14 -- it was part of my trade-based program, which was a total of four years. From there I did an apprenticeship and never looked back. At first, my dad was against it, but he's changed his mind now.
First thing I ever cooked: Veal Wellington. My mom used to cook it every year during the holidays and I remember helping her with it since I was seven.
Last thing I ate today: Pulled lamb burgers at the Mandarin Grill + Bar. I was craving some Western food after eating only Asian food (Indian, Chinese, Sichuan, etc.) for the last few days.
Chef Humm's dishes are known to be innovative and fresh.
Favourite thing to make at home: I have two kids so we make a lot of pasta, braised and roast meats like ribs, steak, etc. One of my favourite pasta dishes is a crab meat pasta with basil and tomato.
Must-have kitchen tool: A cake tester. You can use it to test all sorts of things, from meats to fish to vegetables.
How Hong Kong has inspired me: The variety of dim sum is amazing -- we had this 97-layered Wagyu beef puff pastry at Man Wah the other day. We also tried a Sichuan restaurant called Da Ping Huo and the use of spices was very interesting.
Best cooking advice: Be patient -- cooking takes time. Even a simple dish takes time. I don't believe in "10 Minute Meals". That pasta dish I mentioned above takes me an hour to make, so there are no shortcuts if you want it to be good.
Don't miss the chance to try chef Humm's Eleven Madison Park tasting menus at the Mandarin Grill + Bar from 13-17 March 2013. The seven-course lunch tasting menu is priced at HK$2,888 (HK$3,688 with wine pairing) while the nine-course dinner tasting menu is priced at HK$5,288 and includes a copy of "Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook."
The Mandarin Grill + Bar, 2/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2825 4004