TIM VEATCH, Executive Chef

Chef Tim Veatch earned burn marks, Michelin stars, and farm-to-table experience in the Bay Area working at Farm Stop, and Saison. He also tended fire as a wood-oven cook at Camino in Oakland, where he heightened a menu that changed daily with nothing more than humble fire, acid, and salt.

To this day, Veatch maintains that one of his highest résumé accomplishments reads “plays well with fire.”

Although he knows all the tricks in the book, he’s not one to slap a bunch of butter or sauces on anything—in fact, he only uses a drizzle of olive oil in the pan, if much of anything at all. Over the years—and throughout his travels—he’s learned restraint. The chef prefers a mortar and pestle to bring out the fragrant loveliness of garlic, and if it’s in season at the farmers’ market, he’s probably all over it (just ask him about the best apricot he’s ever eaten).

“It’s about having that ultimate respect for the person that grows the ingredients and respect for the product, too,” Veatch said. “You don’t have to muddy things up with fat and ridiculous flavors and sauces and spices and everything else. You can just take inspiration from the product you get and lightly dress it to make it sing in every way possible.”