Author and Owner/Executive Chef of Town Hall (San Francisco),
Anchor & Hope (San Francisco), Salt House (San Francisco),
and Irving Street Kitchen (Portland)
Mitchell Rosenthal was studying photojournalism at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts when a cookbook unexpectedly changed his life. He had bought Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen and cooked some of the recipes at the Jack Cooper Celebrity Deli in New Jersey where he had worked since age sixteen. The customers absolutely loved it and at that moment, Mitchell says, 'I just fell in love with cooking. It makes sense to me; both photography and cooking are forms of art.' He called Paul Prudhomme every Friday for six months until he was accepted as an intern at K. Paul's. From there, cooking became his life.
Mitchell returned to New York and embarked upon a two-year comprehensive apprenticeship at the Four Seasons where he met his mentor, Chef Seppi Renggli. Within three months he received the unprecedented honor of being promoted to grill cook and put on salary. He cooked side-by-side with Renggli in the Grill Room where a variety of cuisines were offered, from Italian to Indonesian. As Mitchell recalls, 'It wasn't fusion, each cuisine was treated with respect and the dishes were straightforward and elegant. I've never met anyone else who could cook so many cuisines so well.'
He then did brief stints at Le Cirque in New York City and Gitane in New Jersey with his brother Steven, before returning to the Four Seasons, and then embarking on culinary travels and cooking for a season in St. Lucia. In 1989, he became one of the opening cooks at Wolfgang Puck's San Francisco restaurant, Postrio. He left after a year to further explore the culinary treasures of Asia with a three-month journey through Hong Kong, Thailand and India, and then traveled through Europe. Upon returning to the U.S. he worked for Wolfgang Puck at his Mediterranean restaurant Granita in Malibu, and then at the Italian restaurant Coco Pazzo in New York. In 1994, Mitchell and Steven returned to San Francisco to become the executive chefs at Postrio.
Town Hall provided Mitchell his first opportunity to own a restaurant and cook as he chooses. That, in his case, is 'Mitchell' food; straightforward, yet refined—classics done with a twist. And, don't hold him to any one dish. 'I'm fickle,' Rosenthal smiles.
A Bay Area native, Jon Pult moved from San Francisco to New Orleans in 1990 where he has written extensively on early jazz, and produced and hosted numerous jazz concerts. As an ukulelist he has been twice featured, with his "Genial Orleanians," at the New York UkeFest. He holds an M.F.A. from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans.
Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, in Petaluma, California, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. She uses natural light, funky old cameras, as well as the latest digital ones, in order to tell the stories she photographs. Her work is featured in two books, "Field Days" by Jonah Raskin, which documents Sonoma County farming culture; and "Harvesting Color" by Rebecca Burgess, which depicts using native plants to make natural dyes. Paige just completed photographing a cookbook for San Francisco's Bi-Rite Creamery. She has also worked with Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Urban ReVision, Habitat of Humanity, Equality California and many other community and non-profit organizations. To learn more about Paige Green's photography please visit her website: www.paigegreenphotography.com