Appleman is a Food Network regular with appearances on Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef & Chopped All-Stars. His soulful cooking style has garnered local & national praise – 2009 James Beard Foundation Award Rising Star Chef winner, Food & Wine 2009 Best New Chef & San Francisco Chronicles.
Appleman is known for his seasonal menus inspired by local produce, heritage meats, sustainable seafood, and Italian traditions. These elements are celebrated in his first book, A16 Food + Wine (Ten Speed Press, 2008), which earned two prestigious 2009 IACP Cookbook Awards: Cookbook of the Year and First Book/The Julia Child Award.
What does your typical day look like?
No day is the same. My job changes all the time and i am constantly on the go. But ultimately my job is to change the way people think about and eat fast food.
What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
Pen and paper. I’m old school. Make a list and check it off as I go.
Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?
It wasn’t 1 person. It’s the 50000 employees at chipotle. They made me a better person.
Where do you think the most significant growth will occur in the Food & Beverage Industry in the next few years?
All natural and organics will be more accessible to the masses.
What’s your first memory of your love for cooking?
The first time I cooked. I microwaved two tortillas with cheese and put canned tomato sauce on top.
When did you know you wanted to be a Chef?
4 years old. Before I new it was a career. I just loved eating.
Where were you trained, and how difficult was your training?
Went to CIA
What do you love most about your job?
The people and the reach.
Describe your style in three words.
Simple, soulful, delicious.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
What four ingredients are necessary in your kitchen?
Olive oil, salt, chilis, lemon
If you could prepare a meal for anyone, who would it be and what would you make?
My son. I do it everyday.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Winning a james beard award, food and wine best new chef, and cookbook of the year. All in the same year.
Who is your biggest supporter?
What would you want to have as your last meal?
Fried chicken and chocolate chip cookies.
Are there any foods you just don’t like?
Watercress and sturgeon.
What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with?
Poor quality food.
Do you do the cooking at home?
Favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?
Tell me 3 things that you consider to be your cooking strengths.
Intuition, care, high standards.
If you had just one wish, what would it be?
To live on a beach and cook for fun.
Are you working on any big projects now?
If you were to give someone just one piece of advice, what would it be?
Start at the beginning. Learn the basics and practice them until mastered. Slow down and build a solid foundation before you try to follow the latest trend.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Nate Appleman is a devoted supporter of the Kawasaki Disease (KD) Foundation. Having personal involvement with KD, Appleman uses his culinary platform to spread knowledge and understanding of the illness. He and fellow KD parent Jen Lau organized the Cooking 4 KD gala (http://www.cooking4kd.com/), gathering prestigious chefs from all over the country to raise funds for research. This month, on January 26th, is National Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day. Be mindful of the occasion by learning more about KD. Visit http://www.kdfoundation.org/.
About Kawasaki Disease: KD is a serious illness characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body that primarily affects young children and infants. Kawasaki disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children. It is estimated that more than 4,200 children are diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease in the U.S. each year. The cause of KD is unknown, although an agent, like a virus, is suspected.
For more about Nate Appleman, visit Chef’s Roll or follow him on social media!