Daniel Humm is one of the culinary world’s top Michelin Star chefs. He started training at a very young age and since then, has worked incredibly hard to establish himself as a world-renowned chef. Still in his mid-40s, Chef Humm has achieved awards and accolades that others in his field only dream of at that age.
Throughout his career, the chef has established a number of successful restaurants, written a number of best-selling cookbooks, and been awarded several Michelin Stars. Interestingly, when it came to choosing a career, for Chef Humm, it was a toss-up between cycling and cooking. In fact, he actually spent several years as a member of a professional cycling team before focusing on cooking full time.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about Daniel Humm, including where he trained, where he’s opened restaurants and all of the awards he’s won so far.
Who Is Chef Daniel Humm?
Chef Humm was born in Switzerland in September of 1976. At the age of just 14 years, he began working in kitchens. Throughout the early stages of his career, he worked in some of Switzerland’s finest hotels and restaurants and earned his very first Michelin Star at the age of 24.
Throughout the course of his career, critics have all agreed that Humm’s cuisine is delicious, intentional, beautifully presented, and creative. Chef Humm has always maintained that he is as inspired by the theater, art, and by architecture as he is by the ingredients he uses. For Humm, being able to blur the lines between the kitchen and the dining room is a mark of a good meal.
In 2003, the chef moved from Switzerland to the United States. This is when he became the Executive Chef at Campton Place in San Francisco, where he received an impressive four stars from The San Francisco Chronicle. Three years after that, he moved to New York City. By this stage, he had established himself as a promising chef with plenty to offer the culinary world. Along with his business partner, Will Guidara, Chef Humm took over a spot at Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality in 2011. This site is now known as Eleven Madison Park, one of the Big Apple’s most iconic eateries.
As the Executive Chef at Eleven Madison Park, Daniel Humm developed a menu that is best described as a “refined haute gastronomy” experience, which is delivered to fine diners with exceptional service. Since its opening, the restaurant has received plenty of praise from diners and critics alike, and in 2017, was voted the World’s Best Restaurant. That same year, the restaurant underwent a massive refurbishment and temporarily relocated to a pop-up location.
Throughout the course of Humm’s career, both he and Eleven Madison Park received a number of awards, including six James Beard Foundation Awards, four stars from The New York Times, and three Michelin Stars.
Following the success of their first restaurant, in 2018, Humm and Guidara opened NoMad in Los Angeles. However, in July 2019, the two parted ways and the chef announced the following year that his hospitality firm, Make It Nice, would no longer be a partner with the NoMad group of hotels in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or New York.
In the latter part of 2019, Chef Humm opened his first restaurant outside of the United States. Davies and Brook was located at London’s historic Claridge’s Hotel. The chef is also the Co-Founder of Rethink Food, which is a non-profit based in New York. The company’s aim is to create a more sustainable, equitable food system. When the global health crisis forced Eleven Madison Park to shut down, Rethink Food was responsible for keeping a dozen chefs on staff and preparing and delivering meals to first responders and essential workers in food-insecure communities throughout New York. At the peak of the pandemic, roughly 3,000 meals were being delivered every day.
October 2020 saw a new era for Humm’s business. He launched Eleven Madison Home, which is a dine-at-home meal kit. Each purchase was able to fund a further 10 meals to food-insecure citizens in New York. Building on this, in April 2021, the chef launched Eleven Madison Truck, which serves an additional 2,000 meals per week to neighbourhoods in Brooklyn and The Bronx.
November of 2021 saw the chef part ways with Claridge’s after he proposed creating a vegan menu. However, they rejected the idea as management worried about the potential response that the restaurant’s regular customers would have.
Daniel Humm Restaurants
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At present, Daniel Humm has Eleven Madison Park, which is currently open in New York City. The restaurant has recently gone completely meat-free, a decision which the chef describes as being pro-planet, not anti-meat. He has also said that this transition has been the most exciting one of his career, as cooking plant-based meals for diners has been “meaningful and expansive”.
The decision to turn Eleven Madison Park into a plant-based restaurant is one that has been met with a great deal of praise, given the fact that the meals remain delicious and creative, but at the same time, are kinder to the planet as every meal helps to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
Awards And Accolades
Throughout his illustrious career, Daniel Humm chef and undisputed master of the culinary world has received numerous awards and accolades, most of which are detailed below:
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- 2010: Eleven Madison Park, number 50
- 2011: Eleven Madison Park, number 24
- 2012: Eleven Madison Park, number 10
- 2013: Eleven Madison Park, number 5
- 2014: Eleven Madison Park, number 4
- 2015: Eleven Madison Park, Chef’s Choice Award
- 2015: Eleven Madison Park, number 5
- 2016: Eleven Madison Park, number 3
- 2017: Eleven Madison Park, number 1
- 2018: Eleven Madison Park, number 4.
James Beard Foundation Awards
- 2008: Outstanding Wine Service, Eleven Madison Park
- 2010: Best Chef, New York City
- 2012” Outstanding Chef
- 2014: Outstanding Bar Program, NoMad New York
- 2016: Outstanding Service, Eleven Madison Park.
- 2005: Best New Chef, Food & Wine
- 2012: 40 Under 40, Crain’s New York
- 2016: Innovator Awards, Wall Street Journal.
Sebastian is a former hedge fund trader who worked only to indulge his true passion – food.
He has dined at over 240 Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, savoring culinary masterpieces and understanding the stories behind them. He now advises restaurants on menu design, decor and holistic diner experience.