Daniel Humm

Chef, Restaurateur

New York

Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm has made quite the splash since he landed in the States in 2003. Humm spent a three-year stint as executive chef at Campton Place in San Francisco and then moved on to Eleven Madison Park in New York, where he’s been at the helm ever since. In 2010, he received the James Beard Award for Best Chef: New York, and in 2012, he was named Outstanding Chef by the venerable institution. He and business partner Will Guidara now own Eleven Madison Park, and in 2012 the pair opened new restaurant NoMad, a more casual spot combining modern American style and classic French cooking techniques. The Eleven Madison Park chef also made headlines when he swapped spots with Alinea’s Grant Achatz for several weeks in 2012, to the delight of diners in both New York and Chicago, respectively.

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  • On January 8, 2013
    Daniel Humm answered the question: Daniel Humm

    What’s it like for Daniel Humm to work with Will Guidara?

    We spend a ton of time together in order to do what we’re doing as a team — it requires a lot of trust in one another. It’s rare. Most restaurant companies are driven by the restaurateur or the chef, but it’s our very strong belief that the best approach is to do it as a team. If you have a chef-driven company, then the person focused on the dining room is second to the chef. If you have a restaurateur-driven company, the chef is secondary to the dining room. I think if both of those envelopes are being pushed simultaneously as hard as possible, that’s when something really magical happens. Because we are 50-50 partners, there is a synergy that has developed between the kitchen and the dining room that is unbelievable and results in a really great guest experience because we’re all on one team and we’re all working toward the same goals.
     
    It’s also way more fun. The two of us are best friends. We have moments where we can go out and do something fun and let loose, and we don’t need to be careful of what we say, and that’s really nice.
  • On January 8, 2013
    Daniel Humm answered the question: Daniel Humm

    Why did Daniel Humm open NoMad?

    Eleven Madison Park is our high-end restaurant, but even within that we made it more accessible, more fun and more youthful. We wanted to create something where people can drop in a couple of times a week or a month and use the place for different occasions. Sometimes it might be a more elaborate meal, but sometimes it’s just to grab a bite to eat. I think that was really fun. We wanted to create a restaurant we would want to use all the time.
  • On January 8, 2013
    Daniel Humm answered the question: Daniel Humm

    What are Daniel Humm’s favorite things to do in New York?

    It’s amazing to see the diversity and go through all the different neighborhoods. I think a lot of tourists are not aware of that, and when I have friends in town, I love to show them some of the places in Queens, like some of the Asian restaurants. Some of the Asian culture in Queens has such a strong pull. In Brooklyn, there’s a Polish neighborhood, a Russian neighborhood. Food then also comes into play. I’ve never been to a place outside of New York where I’ve been able to go to all these different neighborhoods and really feel a different culture.
     
    Central Park is amazing. I’m a runner, and I usually go pretty early and I try to run on the bridle path kind of away from the crowd. On a day when it’s off-season and early in the morning, you feel like you’re almost alone in there, but then you see the big green woods and to the side you see all these high-rises. It’s really inspiring to me to run in Central Park. There’s this energy in there that is really special.