Charlie Parker, who took over the kitchen at Daniel Patterson's Plum on Dec. 15, is a veteran of Manresa and Ubuntu who has also done a stage at Noma in Copenhagen. Before moving up to Oakland, he was the chef at Bonny Doon Vineyard's Cellar Door Café from April 2009 to October 2010. As I was finishing up my review of Plum, I called Parker for an interview. Apologies in advance for all the asides I inserted to define less-common terms.
SFoodie: So in the five or six weeks since you have arrived, how have you changed the menu? Going forward, what kinds of directions are you planning on taking the restaurant?
Parker: You know, the first couple of weeks, I was getting to know the place ― learning more about Daniel's cooking style and trying to use his dishes but change them to more my style. But I think we approach food in a very similar way, Daniel and I, using local, sustainable products, very seasonal. We make very fresh, light, palatable dishes and use a lot of vegetables. That's what I really like about his cooking, and what I respect about him as a chef. We're pretty much committed to using things that only come from Northern California.