Chef Thomas McNaughton of flour + water - Biography

San Francisco, CA

August 2014

Thomas McNaughton may be young, but he’s already had a long career in the culinary industry, starting as many do, as a teenage dishwasher. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, McNaughton moved back to the Bay Area, working at La Folie and then becoming sous chef at San Francisco institutions Gary Danko and Quince.

But it wasn’t just the Bay Area that influenced him. McNaughton did some important traveling through Europe, working and staging Michelin-starred restaurants in France (Michelle Rostang), Germany (Tantrise), and Italy (Sassege). McNaughton also spent time in a pasta factory in Bologna, Italy, where he hand-rolled endless varieties of pasta under the watchful eyes of committed artisans.

After soaking in the influence of European chefs, farmers, and artiss, McNaughton was ready to open his own restaurant, flour + water, in 2009. It was an immediate success, earning a nod from SF Weekly as “San Francisco’s Best New Restaurant 2010” and a nomination for “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation. McNaughton also earned a 2010 Risinig Star Chef Award. With the openings of Central Kitchen and Salumeria, McNaughton continues to explore and exalt that simple, sublime point of connection between artisan, chef, and community. In addition to flour + water, McNaughton currently oversees the growth and development of Central Kitchen and Salumeria, two projects within the ne timeas restaurant group, that he opened in spring 2012.