DANIEL Patterson says frequent family travels to France with his mother, a teacher of French and English, and lawyer father, influenced his feelings towards cooking. Beginning as a kitchen porter aged 14, Patterson’s escalating fervour for food saw him drop out of English studies at Duke University, North Carolina. He launched Babette’s, Sonoma aged 25 with then partner, Elizabeth Ramsey. He subsequently opened Elisabeth Daniel within San Francisco’s financial district, which embraced aromatherapy and molecular gastronomy. COI, which makes use of foraged ingredients, opened in 2006 in San Francisco Bay (two Michelin stars). Also sharing that accolade is London’s Ledbury restaurant, where Patterson crafted eight courses for trade and press to celebrate the launch of his latest book, ‘COI: Stories and Recipes’ (Phaidon Press). Pretty, not dainty, cheerfully-coloured, and always finishing fresh, precise dishes included: ‘Earth and Sea’ (tofu coagulated with sea water, tomato and fresh seaweeds), and ‘Monterey Bay Abalone’ (nettle-dandelion salsa verde, spicy breadcrumbs, and wild fennel flowers).
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