Meadowood chef Christopher Kostow, only the second American-born chef after Thomas Keller to earn three stars from Michelin, has much to be proud of. In the new issue of Time magazine, culture writer Katie Arnold-Ratliff observes that Meadowood "is quite possibly the only restaurant on the planet to have earned such an accolade without a menu." (Referring to the restaurant's shift this year to customizing menus for each table, and only giving out menus at the end of the meal.) The profile goes on to feature praise from colleagues including Keller, who gushes, "Chris is someone who exemplifies the progression of American cuisine, who has great skills, [and] a wonderful knowledge of what he's doing and who he is." Also, we learn that Kostow prefers Shake Shack in New York to In-N-Out. [Editor's Note: Blasphemy!]
Kostow is a chef who believes in being in his own kitchen, and forging a connection with every saucier and sous so that they learn to execute your vision perfectly each day. "If you don't have a relationship with that lowest guy, you're fucked," he says. "That's where these chefs who get big also get lost. That [line] cook only knows of them through their media, the books and the TV. They don't really know the guy."
Furthermore, Kostow talks about wanting to change people's ideas about Napa as just a "playground for the rich," and reveals that he's "in talks to open a casual restaurant near Meadowood and has designs on a barbecue spot nearby." (Could it be this place, in nearby Calistoga?) He's staying mum on the details, but there isn't likely to be movement on that too soon, as Kostow's wife is expecting, and she's due in February. So, between the baby and running a three-Michelin-star restaurant, he should be pretty occupied for a bit.
Regional Champion [Time - subscription required]
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