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Chef Chat: Peter Rudolph of Madera

Anh-Minh Le | February 6, 2017 | Story Restaurants

When Michelin announced the latest Bay Area recipients of its highly coveted stars, a familiar name had returned to the list: Madera. For 2017, the restaurant regained its prestigious star. So it seemed like the perfect time to catch up with chef Peter Rudolph, who has helmed the kitchen since Madera’s inception.

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a chef?
I became interested in cooking while growing up in Martinez, an East Bay town near San Francisco, where I was surrounded by fresh produce that grew in my grandparents’ garden. Spending time in my grandmother’s kitchen eventually led me to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where I graduated in 1995.

How did you find out that you had earned your latest Michelin star?
It’s actually a funny story—I received an unknown call, and I typically don’t answer blocked phone numbers, but for some reason I picked up the phone, and it was the Michelin inspector calling to deliver the good news. I was thrilled. . . . We are honored and proud to have earned our sixth Michelin star at Madera. Having a Michelin star is a daily inspiration for our team to provide the best culinary experiences for our guests.

Do you have any changes in store in the year ahead?
We will continue to follow the same philosophy: taking the modern trends of cooking, globally and in Northern California, and using the best products that we can procure. Every day is a day of development and learning what the latest trends are. We’ll be focusing on new front-of-house offerings such as the stylistic design of the tabletop and working to refine the experience through aesthetic goods.

What do you especially love about cooking in the Valley?
I love the people of Silicon Valley. The experience that we offer here at Madera blends really well with the attitudes and lifestyles of the people that live in Silicon Valley. Over the eight years that we’ve been open, we’ve developed wonderful friendships with the clientele—it’s the best thing about cooking here.

2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, 650.561.1540

Originally published in the January issue of Silicon Valley

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