Thomas McNaughton may be young, but he has already had a long career in the culinary industry, starting with washing dishes at the age of 14. He graduated from The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park after taking a year off to extern at La Folie in San Francisco. Upon finishing school, McNaughton moved back to the Bay Area and began his career working for illustrious San Francisco institutions like Gary Danko and Quince.
In addition to his time in San Francisco, McNaughton also travelled through Europe to work and stage at Michelin-starred restaurants in France, Germany, and Italy. The deepest connection for McNaughton comes from the hands of farmers, artisanal producers, and small productions within the neighborhood.
Just prior to opening of flour + water, McNaughton spent a good deal of time in a pasta factory in Bologna, Italy where he honed his chops with all the hand-rolled varieties of pasta under the watchful eyes of committed pasta artisans. Since opening in 2009, flour + water has been named San Francisco Best New Restaurant 2010 by SF Weekly and was nominated for a 2010 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the country.
A 2010 StarChefs.com San Francisco Bay Area Rising Star, McNaughton and his partners are close to opening a multifaceted operation. Swallowing the better part of a city block, it will be a three-in-one location (to house a restaurant, salumeria, and catering outfit) down the street from flour + water.