Chef ambassador Nancy Oakes

Barbara Lynch

Nancy's experience with All-Clad

A fantastic outcome in cooking depends on great pans. I depend on All-Clad.
Nancy Oakes signature

Chef Nancy Oakes has reached and sustained a level of awareness and culinary excellence held by few chefs in America today. She strongly believes that her diners need to be comforted by her food as well as the surroundings and service. She feels that the room and food presentation should flatter guests in a way that make each one know he or she is personally cared for.

Cleary, her customers have felt cared for and they have spoken: she is indeed San Francisco's most beloved Chef. Virtually every readers' poll of San Francisco Bay Area publications names Nancy Oakes as the most popular chef, and Boulevard as the favorite restaurant in San Francisco, including The San Francisco Chronicle Reader's Poll and the Zagat guide for seven years in a row. She was also one of a few restaurants to receive a coveted Star in the Michelin Guide every year since they started reviewing. Her peers have spoken as well, and in 2001 Chef Nancy Oakes garnered a tremendous and much deserved James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef in California” and in 2012 the “Outstanding Restaurant Award”. The James Beard Foundation also nominated Nancy Oakes for the “Outstanding Service Award” in 2002 and 2004.

Prior to opening Boulevard in 1993, Chef Oakes earned high praise at her restaurant L'Avenue, her neighborhood bistro where she created and sustained a wonderful loyalty and intimacy with her diners. Despite its modest size, Nancy was chosen as one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best Chefs in 1989.

As a self-taught chef, Oakes enhanced her philosophy with the knowledge she gained from great teachers, like Girard Boyer, Taillevent and Guy Savoy, under whom she served informally. She also travels through Italy with Faith Willinger learning the simplicity and intelligence of Italian cooking. Oakes cherishes all aspects of food from searching for the freshest ingredients to perfect service.

“When you order a chicken, we actually cook it to order for you over the open fire in our wood-burning oven. There are no shortcuts. Even our pastries and cookies are made in small batches so they have a home-baked quality. We search for the best ingredients... we choose diver scallops rather than dredged, and fruits and vegetables straight from the farm or the farmer's market. In our kitchen, we all share San Francisco's love and commitment to good food,” says Oakes.

In other media, Boulevard, The Cookbook, written by Chef Oakes with Co-Chef Pamela Mazzola received both the James Beard Foundation and IACP nomination for 2006 and was picked by the Amazon Cookbook Editor at the top of his favorite cookbooks in 2006. Chef Oakes is also a regular guest on the local ABC network show, View From The Bay, and is also a frequent guest on Radio and as a public speaker both locally and internationally. Oakes is also a regular contributor to Bon Appetit Magazine and has appeared in Fine Cooking Magazine as well as appeared in magazines around the world including Spain, Japan, Korea, Norway and New Zealand.

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