KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
“To this day, I can’t do sweet potatoes like my grandmother did them,” says Mark Richardson, executive chef of Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. Thankfully, other menu items that have taken on his Southern charm have been perfected in a way that would make his grandmother proud.
Richardson has been interested in food since his childhood in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, where he poked around in the kitchen with his mom and grandma while watching football over heaping plates of meatloaf. During his senior year of college, his culinary interests got the better of him, so he left the University of Kentucky behind and enrolled in culinary school in Pittsburgh.
Twelve years and many sous chef jobs later, Richardson has settled in nicely as the Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. Paying homage to the readily available fresh California ingredients, the Chef Richardson has selected prime California cuts sourced locally from top ranchers, and paired them with the highest quality organic produce. “The inspiration behind the menu is a testament to our creativity and collaborative experiments in the kitchen,” says Richardson.
Through his main course dishes that reflect traditional and local American fare, premium meats such as all-natural dry-aged rib eye from Brandt Farms, or grass-fed filet from Hearst Ranch, Richardson creates a variety of inventive sauces and playful and sociable small plates, perfect for sharing.
These days, Richardson focuses on proper technique, seasoning, and care of provisions, especially the phenomenal produce of California. “I find it better not to do too much with each element, but rather to let flavours marry in harmony on the plate.”
He has a new stage to showcase his culinary skills – the recently opened “MKT Restaurant & Bar” at the Four Seasons. There are many knockout dishes; the mussels & kimchi is a standout, the pork chop may be the best I have ever had, and his soft scramble with uni is the stuff of food fantasies – never has a scramble tasted so darn good.
Chef’s menu is complimented with a first class wine program and cocktails curated by Oliver “king of the cocktail” Lee and his talented team. The menu can be enjoyed in the new chic and more relaxed dining room or in the HOT new bar – kicking daily from happy hour to closing time after midnight.
Enjoy my foodie chap chat with Chef Mark – a chef with as much humility as he has talent- and he is enormously talented. Treat yourself and have a taste of his cuisine at “MKT” at the Four Seasons on market street, San Francisco.
“5 Questions with Chef Mark Richardson”
1) Being a chef to you, is about…?
It’s about sharing. It’s about being a leader and being a part of the community.
2) It’s midnight, I go to your fridge at home. What will I find? What’s always there?
Water and beer.
3) What dish reminds you of home?
4) The cookbook you cannot live without?
One of the, my inspirations that got me into, what really what, seeing what food can be, is “French Laundry” by Thomas Keller. Great man.
5) Last supper. You can have a few guests. What will you eat? Who will be at the table with you?
As far as eating, we’ll have tons of froie gras. Other than that, I can care less. I would have my mother, my grandmother, my sister, her husband, one of my best friends and Thomas Jefferson.
SOFT SCRAMBLED EGG WITH FORT BRAGG UNI
Cook time : 10 minutes
2 whole eggs
2 ounces cream
1/2 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste
4 pieces Fort Bragg Uni (sea urchin roe) 1 teaspoon chives, chopped
4 pieces of brioche, toasted
1. Whisk together the egg and cream
2. Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat
3. Once pan is hot add the butter and melt
4. Add the eggs and scramble
5. Season with salt
6. Top with Uni and garnish with chives
7. Serve with toasted brioche
MKT Restaurant & Bar
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)