Benefit for Kim Müller

I first met Chef Kim Müller at the Compound in 2006, joining my friend Baron Wolman for lunch at the Compound. Kim, who has known Baron for years, came out to greet the table, and wistfully recounted a few precious details about her recent meal at French Laundry.

As a little bit of personal background: I’m a native northern Californian. And although I was raised by all of my parents to enjoy great food, I shamelessly  jump on that Bourdain bandwagon and credit his iconic Kitchen Confidential as the catalyst that sealed my culinary fate. My mother, who was then in cooking school, sent hyperbolic emails about this rebel rockstar chef who wrote about the steamy underbelly of the cooking world like a knife wielding Lou Reed. I was given Kitchen Confidential and Bourdain’s Les Halles cookbook for Christmas, I experienced my first transcendent meal at a restaurant called Chez Spencer on a tiny alley south of market in San Francisco, I sliced my first shallot, and things have never been the same.

That day when Kim described her own pilgrimage to Thomas Keller’s idyllic culinary mecca, I recognized her as one of the first people I met who actually lived in that mythic world of drive, discipline and deliciousness that Bourdain described.

Since that day, I’ve grown to know Kim through her tenure at Real Food Nation. She has been incredibly supportive of my photography, for which I’m humbly grateful. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Kim – I’ve probably learned more about technique and food from simply photographing her doing prep than from any number of hours with countless cookbooks combined. I’ve loved hearing the history of her favorite knife, and trading stories about our lives and our dogs in the kitchen while she does what she does best and I attempt to make stills that portray a master at work.

Currently, Kim is facing the reality of a hereditary disease known as Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD. There will be a benefit to raise money to help Kim face this challenge on June 30, 2011. As a resident of Santa Fe, or a fellow admirer of the morality of good cooking, slow food and local sustainable sourcing, please read more about the benefit for Kim Müller at this website, and consider donating to the cause. Thank you.

Kim Muller Santa Fe Chef