Nancy Oakes - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

TENTH ANNUAL - SAVE THE DATE – OCTOBER 2-25, 2020

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Nancy Oakes

Boulevard Restaurant - San Francisco, CA

Chef Nancy Oakes has reached and sustained a level of awareness and culinary excellence held by few chefs in America today. She strongly believes that her diners need to be comforted by her food as well as the surroundings and service. She feels that the room and food presentation should flatter guests in a way that make each one know he or she is personally cared for.

Virtually every readers’ poll of San Francisco Bay Area publications names Oakes as the most popular chef, and Boulevard as the favorite restaurant in San Francisco, including the San Francisco Chronicle Reader’s Poll and the Zagat guide for seven years in a row.  She is also one of a few restaurants to receive a coveted Star in the Michelin Guide every year since they started reviewing.  Her peers have spoken as well, and in 2001. Oakes garnered a tremendous and much-deserved James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef in California” and in 2012 the “Outstanding Restaurant Award”.   The James Beard Foundation also nominated Nancy Oakes for the “Outstanding Service Award” in 2002 and 2004.

In other media, Boulevard, The Cookbook, written by Chef Oakes with Co-Chef Pamela Mazzola received both the James Beard Foundation and IACP nomination for 2006 and was picked by the Amazon Cookbook Editor at the top of his favorite cookbooks in 2006.



 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A CHEF?
I like to make people happy.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING IN THREE WORDS?
What I want to eat.

WHAT’S THE BEST HONOR YOU’VE RECEIVED AS A CHEF?
The James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in the United States in 2012. It’s a team effort, and it was an honor to have them recognized for their hard work.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL AFTER A BUSY DAY?
I’m embarrassed to say, but it’s usually a big bowl of popcorn while binge watching something on tv, or if it’s summer, a big bowl of berries. Occasionally, poached chicken in broth with mushrooms, chili and cilantro.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN?
Gardening, cooking at home, entertaining, plus I love to read.

WHAT THE ONE LOCAL INGREDIENT YOU’RE EXCITED TO COOK WITH DURING HFWF19?
The locally raised abalone!

WHAT KEEPS YOU RETURNING BACK TO THE ISLANDS?
I always love having a Mai Tai and eating coconut shrimp while watching a show at the Halekulani. I love checking out what the other chefs are doing at the events. I love the Farmer’s Market. I try and get a bowl of oxtail ramen. I also always get in the water, and I don’t mean the pool.

IF YOU WERE NOT A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
A starving artist. My talent is in the kitchen, so if I changed mediums, I probably wouldn’t be so successful.