fine food - Daniel Humm
Written by Oryx
Daniel Humm is the chef/owner of Eleven Madison Park, and the food and beverage spaces at the NoMad Hotel, where he creates modern American cuisine that emphasises purity, simplicity, and seasonal flavours and ingredients. A classicist who embraces contemporary gastronomy, Daniel’s delicate and precise cooking style is experienced through constantly evolving menus.
A native of Switzerland, Daniel knew from an early age that his true passion was cooking. The son of an architect, he took his inherited sense of structure and design and applied it to the kitchen. By the age of 14, he had started his formal training with his first culinary apprenticeship. From there he went on to work at many of Switzerland’s finest hotels and restaurants, including the Michelin three-star restaurant Le Pont de Brent, where he met his mentor, Gérard Rabaey.
Soon thereafter, Daniel became first Executive Chef position at Gasthaus zum Gupf in the Swiss Alps. During his time there, he earned a Michelin star, and Gault et Millau named him ‘Culinary Discovery’ in Switzerland 2002.
In 2003, Daniel moved to the USA to take the position of Executive Chef at Campton Place in San Francisco. He immediately garnered attention for his innovative interpretation of contemporary French cuisine, earning four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle and being named 2004's Rising Star Chef.
In 2006, Daniel joined Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group as the executive chef of Eleven Madison Park, quickly transforming the restaurant into one of the city’s top dining destinations.
In 2009, the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star; the following year it was inducted onto the San Pellegrino list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants; and Daniel received the award for Best Chef, New York City from the James Beard Foundation.
More was to follow. In 2011, it received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in America, moved up to 24th on the San Pellegrino list, and received three Michelin stars.
The following year, Daniel and Will Guidara bought Eleven Madison Park and went on to open the restaurant in the NoMad Hotel; Humm received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in America, while Eleven Madison Park moved up to 10th on the San Pellegrino list, and it currently sits an exceptional 4th on the San Pellegrino list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Chocolate Egg Cream
You can almost count on one hand how many places there are left in New York where you can get an egg cream (which contains neither egg nor cream!), but once upon a time they were available on nearly every block. One of the staples of the classic soda fountains that became the city’s gathering places during Prohibition, the egg cream is a uniquely New York creation – people from Brooklyn claim it’s from Brooklyn, people from Manhattan say it’s from Manhattan. Who invented it and where doesn’t really matter; we’re just happy it exists.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt together the sugar and chocolate with 1/3 cup of water. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and cornflour with 1/3 cup of water. Add to the melted chocolate mixture and bring to the boil. Cook for two minutes to cook out the starch. Strain through a chinois and chill over an ice bath. Refrigerate until ready to use. Note: Any leftover chocolate sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week and used to make hot chocolate or chocolate milk.
- 3/4 cup milk
- soda water
Pour three tablespoons of chocolate sauce into each of four 250ml glasses. Top with three tablespoons of milk. Add enough soda water to almost reach the top of the glass. Stir vigorously and drink immediately.