The chef at One Market restaurant in San Francisco since 2004 was named a 2007 StarChefs “Rising Star” and is known for his fresh American cooking. One Market received one star from the 2008 Michelin Guide last month. Dommen, 38, grew up in Napa and has been a chef at Fleur de Lys, Julia’s Kitchen, in Napa, and Lespinasse and Park Avenue Café in New York.
What has been your approach to One Market? Using the best possible ingredients and not screwing it up by doing too much to them. I try to keep it as fresh and as simple as possible. Any technique that’s applied to the product hopefully brings out more flavor.
How does it feel to get the Michelin star? It’s awesome. When you go to work every day, you try to do the best job you can do. As a chef in a place as large as One Market, you don’t quite have control all the time. Getting the star kind of confirms the belief that you’re doing the best possible job you can do.
With a shortage of fresh local ingredients in New York, how does cooking there compare with cooking here? In New York, it’s all about technique. They have a way of making it taste great even if it’s not in season. It was great to be there and to learn that. Now you apply that same technique to food when it’s in season and you get some great big flavors.
What trends do you see in Bay Area restaurants? Bay Area is starting to embrace molecular gastronomy, cooking at low temperature. That’s starting to gain more popularity here because it allows you to be a little more creative. It helps you produce a more consistent product and higher quality.