Chef Thomas McNaughton of flour + water - Biography

San Francisco, CA

August 2014

As a teenager, Thomas McNaughton got his start in the dish pit. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, McNaughton moved back to the Bay Area, working at mainstay La Folie before becoming a sous chef at San Francisco institutions Gary Danko and Quince.

But it wasn’t just the Bay Area that influenced him. McNaughton did some traveling through Europe, working and staging at Michelin-star restaurants in France (Michelle Rostang), Germany (Tantrise), and Italy (Sassege). He also spent time hand-rolling endless varieties of pasta in factory in Bologna, Italy. After soaking in the European influence, McNaughton was ready to open his own restaurant, flour + water. The 2009 debut was an immediate success, earning him a 2010 StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award and a slew of James Beard nominations including “Best New Restaurant” and “Rising Star Chef” in 2011 and 2012.

Continuing to explore that sublime point of connection between artisan, chef, and community, McNaughton––along with David Steele and David White––created Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, adding Central Kitchen, Salumeria, and Trick Dog to its roster, as well as partners Kara Bratcher, Vanya Shekell, and Rising Stars alum, Chef Ryan Pollnow. McNaughton, overseeing growth and development, has recently stepped in as CEO and culinary director for the group.