Position: Executive Chef at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, CA.
Education: Thonon les Bains Culinary Academy
Awards: L’Association de Maîtres Cuisiniers de France 2017 French Master Chef of the Year for USA-Canada, also known as La Toque d’Argent (The Silver Toque).
About Xavier Salomon
“Fourth in his family and second in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to earn the title Maître Cuisinier de France, and a fifth generation restaurateur, Xavier Salomon’s passion for food began at his family’s kitchen table in Savoie, France.
Chef Salomon’s European tenure includes training under Jo Rostang at his Michelin Three-Star restaurant La Bonne Auberge in Antibes, France. Chef Salomon continued his education at Le Bateau Ivre in Courcheval and graduated from Thonon les Bains Culinary Academy. In 1991 he joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Aspen and in 1996, moved to Atlanta as executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead.
Chef Salomon joined The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in July 2001, where he has overseen all dining experiences throughout the resort including The Conservatory, The Ocean Terrace, and its signature restaurant Navio. His passion for utilizing Northern California’s rich bounty of local harvests has resulted in an acclaimed dining experience which has won national acclaim for The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay and its accomplished culinary team.” – source
The Chefs Connection recently caught up with Chef Salomon, and we had a few questions to ask.
The Chefs Connection: What was your first job in food?
Xavier Salomon: Working summer vacations at my Family Restaurant starting at 15 years old.
TCC: When you were a kid, what did you ant to be when you grew up?
XS: A Chef !!! never had any other choice
TCC: What’s your favorite thing about being a chef?
XS: Creativity / always learning / mentoring
TCC: Did you have an “aha” moment when you knew you wanted to be a chef?
XS: I was born in “it” 4 generations! seemed evident. but I went to Paul Bocuse when I was 14 and was just in awe by the Man and what he represented already then. his name and picture was just everywhere!
TCC: Best advice you ever got? stay clean, stay organized and stay focused.
XS: To create excellence, you need to be patient and uncompromising
TCC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten
XS: Chocolate covered pretzels and potato chips…!
TCC: Your favorite ingredient.
TCC: The ingredient that turns you off the most.
XS: Fake butter
TTC: Your favorite tool.
XS: The Nutra bullet. its more than a juicer!
TCC: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not cooking.
TCC: What would you like to do before you get too old to do it.
XS: Travel more
TCC: Tell us a deep dark secret (doesn’t have to be food related).
XS: I like Traders Joes frozen products
TCC: How do you deal with the stress?
XS: Cook at home for friends and good wines
TCC: Tell us a funny story from the kitchen (VIDEO). We’ll make a date.
TCC: Who would you like to meet?
XS: The General de Gaulle
TCC: Who would you like to cook for?
XS: My grand Father. he was a great Chef but never saw me becoming a chef
TCC: What was the hardest thing for you to learn? Or is there something you just can’t get right?
XS: Molecular gastronomy
TCC: Is there some little something you do for your family to make up for the time you’re not with them?
XS: We go on eating and discovery trips
TCC: How did becoming a chef change your life? Your direction.
XS: It never did. this is what I always wanted to do