What New York’s Finest Chef Makes For Christmas Dinner
There is a strong case to be made that the Swiss-born chef Mr Daniel Humm is the best chef alive. In the eight years since he took over the reins and deed from Mr Danny Meyer at Eleven Madison Park, the opulence and precision of his menus there, in concert with the buoyancy and wit of the restaurant’s service, elevated EMP towards the top of the World’s 50 Best list. It took the top spot in 2017, and for good reason. The festivity of the atmosphere and the increasingly succinct, almost minimalist presentation of the dishes at EMP (and at the NoMad restaurants he owns and operates under his company Make It Nice) make every visit to Mr Humm’s world a kind of holiday, giddy with the grandeur of ingredients and technique, but laced with something else, some special magic that lingers and becomes the fruit on which nostalgia feeds, a cherished memory.
This holiday season, Mr Humm is bringing that particular recipe for magical dining to London, where he is opening Davies and Brook at Claridge’s hotel just in time for Christmas. To celebrate the occasion, we visited him in the heart of Mayfair, amid a flurry of snow-flecked trees and tinkling ornaments, to talk about his childhood memories, the challenges of restraint and his pursuit of perfection. And about the only perfect recipe in existence: his signature duck. How’s that for a Christmas dinner?
Film by Mr Jacopo Maria Cinti