World Chefs: Moore steps out from the shadows

Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:15am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russell Moore felt it was time to strike out on his own three years ago after working more than two decades at the birthplace of new American cuisine -- Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.

The Los Angeles native opened his own restaurant Camino in Oakland, where he cooks his Mediterranean-inspired dishes in an open fireplace and a wood-burning oven.

The 47-year old spoke to Reuters about Oakland's dining scene and working for Alice Waters who founded Chez Panisse.

Q: Describe Oakland's dining scene. Is it in the shadow of San Francisco?

A: "Oakland is a different world. It's coming alive now. People are coming here because it's less expensive. Our staff is all over the map. Our clients are all over the map. Not only ethnicity, but age."

Q; How is your restaurant different from Chez Panisse?

A: "I have a more singular vision. I loved my job at Chez Panisse as a chef. The only reason I wanted to leave Chez Panisse is that I wanted to cook a little bit differently, buy things a little bit differently and have a little different system working. The main thing is that we have this giant fireplace and cook everything out of the fireplace."

Q: Is it a burden to be a Chez Panisse veteran?   Continued...

<p>Russell Moore is seen at his restaurant Camino in an undated photo. REUTERS/Courtesy of Camino/Handout</p>