Daniel Humm’s architect father hoped his son would follow in his footsteps, but Humm applied his inherited sense of design and structure to his passion for cooking. Humm’s classical European training started at the age of 14 with a three-year culinary apprenticeship. He built on this experience, working at many of Switzerland’s finest five-star hotels, including a position as Chef Hors d’oeuvrier and Chef Rotisseur at Zurich’s Hotel Baur au Lac.
The Swiss-born Humm took his first executive chef position at Gasthaus zum Gupf, located near the medieval university town of St. Gallen in the Swiss Alps. There he earned a Michelin Star and was named “Culinary Discovery in Switzerland 2002” by Gault Millau. Humm also worked for the famed Restaurant Pont de Brent, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Montreux, under Chef G. Rabaey.
From the moment he arrived stateside at San Francisco’s Campton Place Restaurant in May 2003, Humm drew attention and admiration for his innovative style of refined, contemporary French cuisine. Only four months after he took the helm, the San Francisco Chronicle awarded Campton Place the highest possible rating for a new chef. In September 2005, the restaurant achieved the paper’s highest rating, four stars. Humm has received a continuing series of accolades. In February 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle named him a 2004 Rising Star Chef. The following year, Humm earned a StarChefs.com Rising Star Award, and Food & Wine named him one of Best New Chefs 2005.
Three years later, Humm moved to the East Coast to become the executive chef of Danny Meyer's Eleven Madison Park. Under his leadership, the restaurant was designated Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux in 2008 and received four stars from The New York Times in 2009. In 2010, Daniel received the James Beard Award for "Best Chef, New York City," and in 2011, the James Beard Foundation awarded EMP with the title of "Outstanding Restaurant." Most recently Eleven Madison Park earned its third Michelin star, a crowning jewel for Humm's contribution to fine-dining in the United States, and he is a 2012 nominee for James Beard Outstanding Chef.