A-16 | San Francisco
Christophe Hille is a native of Connecticut, and has lived in San Francisco for four years. In February 2004, Hille, with his business partners Sommelier Shelley Lindgren and Victoria Libin, opened A16, a restaurant and wine bar celebrating the cuisine of the southern Italian region of Campania . In fact, the restaurant is named for the highway that runs between Rome and Naples in Italy.
In preparation for opening his own restaurant, Hille earned certification by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association becoming one of the few certified pizzaiolos in the United States. He also completed cooking internships in several restaurants in Campania.
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Christophe began cooking professionally after college. He started out in a fast-paced local pub and then worked in a busy Tex-Mex cantina. With his appetite whetted by this initiation, he attended the New England Culinary. While in school he broadened his experience by working for Chef Jean-Louis Gerin at Restaurant Jean-Louis in Connecticut.
Christophe then traveled to France where he worked for Chef Jean-Marc Banzo at Le Clos de la Violette, in Aix-en-Provence, France. At Le Clos-- which has a two-star rating in the Michelin guide-- he worked intensively in both the pastry department and the main kitchen. The regimen of long hours, precise techniques, and a disciplined work environment imbued in him the dedication required to make excellent and honest food. Returning to the United States, Christophe cooked at Campton Place eventually becoming Sous Chef under Chef Laurent Manrique. Later he worked for Chef Melissa Perello at the highly acclaimed Charles Nob Hill.
Christophe Hille is a member of the Slow Food movement. Earlier in his career he worked on an organic vegetable farm in Virginia--- which turned out to be a formative experience. Today his cooking can be characterized as having a focus on simple, rustic, and authentic Mediterranean dishes, prepared with rigorous attention to the seasons, using artisan products and the finest produce. This approach has meshed perfectly with the culinary sensibility of the Bay Area and with the Neapolitan pizza and food of Campania at A16.