hef Nate Appleman’s soulful cooking style has garnered local and national praise. As a James Beard Award nominee and San Francisco Chronicle Rising Star Chef, his cooking has been recognized by publications such as Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and Gourmet.
A graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, the native of Greenville, Ohio has worked across the country, honing his skills at restaurants including Maisonette in Cincinnati, Brasa in Seattle, Campton Place in San Francisco (where he met his wife, Clarisse), The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, and Tra Vigne in St. Helena, California.
It was Appleman’s affinity for butchery and curing meats that inspired him to join a friend in Florence, Italy and work as an apprentice for half a year. While learning traditional Italian methods of salumi production and butchery, he simultaneously developed a deep appreciation for regional Italian cuisine and its focus on seasonal ingredients and simple, time-honored preparations. His experience working in Italy became the foundation of his inspiration as a chef.
After joining A16’s opening team as executive sous chef, Appleman became one of the few American pizzaiolos certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. After becoming A16’s executive chef and co-owner in 2006, restaurant reviewer Michael Bauer gave the restaurant three-and-a-half stars for food quality in the San Francisco Chronicle. A year later, he opened SPQR with partners Shelley Lindgren and Victoria Libin.
At A16 and SPQR, Appleman creates seasonal menus inspired by local produce, heritage meats, sustainable seafood, and Italian traditions. He credits relationships with local purveyors such as Mariquita Farm in Watsonville, California, for providing him with the ingredients that inspire his gutsy, flavorful menus. These elements are celebrated in his first book, A16 Food + Wine (Ten Speed Press, 2008).