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The Oakland Berkley Book March 2013

meet » Daniel Patterson /restaurateur, oakland Grounded Gourmet » Star chef brings his unique brand of sophisticated cuisine to Oakland. Given his reputation as the exacting chef-owner of San Francisco’s lauded Coi, you might expect restaurateur Daniel Patterson to be a bit more, well, snooty on the subject of food. In fact, the two Michelinstarred chef has zero formal culinary training (he’s worked in restaurants since he was a teenager) and sounds downright egalitarian when he describes what it takes to cook good food. “First of all, you have to be a very passionate and determined person, and you need to have the palate and sensory memory,” Patterson says. “But if you have that, everything else can be taught. To be honest, I’ve had many people come through my kitchen with pedigreed backgrounds who have been awful cooks and people just starting out who have been fantastic: No amount of book learning can make you a good cook.” MAREN CARUSO 20 theberkeleyoaklandbook.com Perhaps it’s that democratic outlook that explains Patterson’s love affair with the more down to earth Oakland, where he moved with his wife and son four years ago, and subsequently opened three popular new eating establishments: Plum, Plum Bar, and Haven. “I really love the city and the people here,” Patterson says. “It’s not a flashy place, but folks here really respond to quality and warmth of atmosphere. If you take care of them, they’ll support you.” And support him they have, as Patterson’s three Oakland restaurants draw crowds by offering inventive, fine-dining–level cuisine— all with the kind of hip, laid-back vibe that resonates with East Bay diners. Ultimately, Patterson says he tries to keep one goal in mind for all his restaurants. “I hope people have fun; that gets lost in the shuffle sometimes,” he says. “Cooking and eating should be a joyful experience.” For more information on Patterson’s restaurants, go to danielpattersongroup.com. —Ethan Fletcher G B_io Hometown: Manchester, MA Years in Bay Area: 24 Fave restaurants: Commis, Pizzaiolo, Camino Top kids’ spots: Children’s Fairyland, Lake Merritt, Temescal farmers market


The Oakland Berkley Book March 2013
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