Interview with Chef Daniel Corey of Luce San Francisco

Chef Daniel Corey is a Chef I have gotten to know over the years during my many many visits to Luce San Francisco located in the Intercontinental Hotel. See my interview with Chef Daniel Corey below and also see more on Luce Restaurant here and some of the fun coverage I have done serving as a judge for their annual Culinary Clash Competition hosted at Luce Restaurant here.

What was your first memory of cooking and what did you cook?

Avocado Toast with Mom, just buttered toast, avocado, salt & pepper.   I still eat it 3-4 times a week this same way!

Biscuits & Gravy with Grandma on my father’s side, always white sausage gravy, lots of black pepper, Buttermilk Biscuits

What is a knife you cannot live without?

My Chef Knife

What is one ingredient you cannot cook without?


What was one of the biggest mistakes you made your first year in the culinary industry?

Not assuming that everything you touch is going to be HOT!

It is quite rare, especially in San Francisco to find a Michelin rated restaurant in a hotel. What do you think differentiates Luce from other San Francisco Michelin dining experiences?

I feel that we stay true what we do best.  Innovative, modern cuisine without hopping onto every food trend, and warm personalized service.  I like to think we do a lot of the “little things” right that create unique experiences for our guests.

I got to know you through your involvement with the annual, Culinary Clash. Can you share more about how you got involved in the clash for those less familiar with the event?  

The clash is an event founded/created by our Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, Gail Gerber.  It started as a partnership between my Culinary School alma mater (CCA) and Intercontinental Hotel San Francisco.  It has since evolved into something that now IHG properties across North America, including Mexico, participate in as well culminating in an “Ultimate Clash” between all the properties and their student Chef’s.

When did you know you wanted to become a chef or restaurant proprietor?

I had worked in restaurants and Café’s since college and when I moved to SF I decided it would be something I would pursue full time.  My original plan was to be a teacher for Summer’s off to travel and surf!

Who has been the most influential mentor/chef in your career?

I worked for a Chef, David Stevenson, at Downtown Restaurant in Berkeley (now closed) when I was a young cook.  Looking back on the 18 months I spent there I realize how much I learned, not just attention to detail and recipes or seasonality but about the commitment & sacrifice that comes along with this profession.  Working for two years with Daniel Humm at the Campton Place was very influential as well

What is your favorite after work drink?

I go back and forth, but a glass of a crisp white wine usually does the trick, or an ice cold Beer.

What is your favorite local spot?

Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store

Tell us something that would surprise people about you?

I love reggae music!  I have been collecting dancehall & lover’s rock since I was around 13 years old.


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