Cooking

Fridge Files: Thomas McNaughton

At home with the chef of Flour + Water and Central Kitchen

If Thomas McNaughton's refrigerator is empty and his apartment looks like someone is either moving in or moving out, cut the guy some slack.

The chef-partner of Flour + Water, week-old Central Kitchen and the soon-to-open Salumeria was running on three hours of sleep the day he gave us a tour of his home refrigerator (click here to see). He may be exhausted, but his energy is irrepressible.

McNaughton describes Central Kitchen as a terroir-driven restaurant. The celebration of Northern California's bounty extends beyond ingredients to include tableware (Heath, made with California clay), furniture (crafted by a local woodworker) and other details, like the rooftop beehives and forthcoming rooftop greenhouse. The sum gives the restaurant an acute sense of being rooted in one place.

Salumeria, the retail space and sandwich shop adjacent to Central Kitchen, is scheduled to open on May 31, and McNaughton is currently at work on a cookbook. "My head's about to explode," he says. "You know, in a good way."

He is home only long enough for our tour and to pet his beloved pet pot-bellied pig, Kona. Tour concluded, he hustles back down the street to Central Kitchen, just in time for dinner service.

Central Kitchen 3000 20th St. San Francisco CA 94110 415-826-7004

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