These days, you’re likely to find chef Joshua Skenes at his new restaurant, Angler, presiding over a kitchen that’s putting out immaculate seafood dishes. Or perhaps he’s at Saison, the Michelin three-star showcase to his naturalistic style of cooking that rocketed him to culinary stardom. If you see him at either of his San Francisco spots, know that he’d prefer to be somewhere else. Not that he doesn’t enjoy his work—it’s just that the cooking he loves best isn’t done in a city. “There is no better thing in the world than being out on a river, catching a fish, and then smelling it all while it grills over the campfire,” he says. “It’s restorative.”
His affinity for nature greatly influences the way he sees food and approaches his craft. “From the time that a product is harvested—whether it’s a leaf or an elk—there’s a moment in time when everything tastes its best,” he says. “It’s vibrant and it’s full of flavor, aroma, and fragrance.” Venturing into the great outdoors gets him closer to that moment of peak flavor. He wants to take some discerning diners to that moment with him.
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