The Culinary Beginnings Of Eleven Madison Park's Daniel Humm

Chef David Humm is the culinary genius behind the restaurant Eleven Madison Park. The famous chef began his venture into the culinary arts at just 14 years old with a culinary apprenticeship. According to Star Chefs, Humm chose not to follow in the footsteps of his architect father and practiced the art of cooking instead.

Humm progressed in his training in fine culinary arts by working his first role as an executive chef at Gasthaus zum Gupf. He was then named "Culinary Discovery in Switzerland 2002" by Gault Millau. According to Eleven Madison Park, he won his first Michelin Star while still in his 20s.

The famous chef decided to extend his culinary learning by moving to the U.S. in 2003, where he became an executive chef at Campton Place in San Francisco. According to Delish, Humm's superlative work during this time earned rave reviews, attention in the press, and multiple accolades. He was nominated for the James Beard Foundations' Rising Star Award in 2004 and 2005, and Food & Wine named him one of its "Best New Chefs" of 2005.

The story behind Eleven Madison Park

In 2006, the famous chef packed up his knives and moved from California to New York, where he became an executive chef at Eleven Madison Park. In 2011, he and his business partner Will Guidara purchased the elite restaurant from Union Square Hospitality Group.

According to the Rob Report, in 2012, the pair opened the NoMad, a modernized version of grand-era hotel restaurants. Then in 2017, the New York Times reported they opened a casual fare counter-service restaurant called Made Nice.

Humm is no stranger to the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed. According to Eleven Madison Park and Delish, he and his restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, have received numerous awards, including seven James Beard Awards, four stars from the New York Times, and three Michelin Stars. He also won the top spot on the "World's 50 Best Restaurant" list in 2017.

How did the restaurant change?

According to Eleven Madison Park, in 2019 the famous chef traveled back to Europe, where he opened Davies and Brook in the Claridge Hotel in London. Then, in 2020, Covid-19 hit and things changed.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Humm explained the transition by saying that Eleven Madison Park was used as a community kitchen during the pandemic (via YouTube). The restaurant fed over a million meals to food-insecure workers. During this time, he reconnected with food in a way he hadn't experienced in a long time. Humm said it became clear that the future is plant-based, and the world doesn't need another reinvention of a lobster dish. 

The famous chef said he wants to create a more beautiful future, and we can all change the world by eating plant-based at home just one day per week. In 2022, chef Humm transformed his famous Eleven Madison Park into an entirely plant-based restaurant.