Leadership and Building High Performing Teams: Jeremiah Tower, The Father of American Cuisine

Widely considered the father of American cuisine, Jeremiah Tower began his culinary career in 1972 as co-owner and executive chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. He then continued as executive chef and sole owner of Stars in San Francisco, one of the highest grossing, most innovative, and profitable restaurants in the United States. After Stars, Tower opened restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Manila.

He’s an award winning chef, author, keynote speaker, architecture aficionado and a fantastic podcast guest.

He’s also the subject of The Last Magnificent, a CNN feature-length documentary film produced by Anthony Bourdain, now on Netflix.

I asked Jeremiah on the show to give us a look behind the curtain on how he became so successful in a notoriously difficult industry and to get his thoughts on where the young hoteliers of the world should be focused on pushing our industry forward.

On this episode we discuss:

  • How Jeremiah got his start (2:13)
  • How to establish yourself as a leader (4:53)
  • The secret to great hospitality (7:56)
  • Leading by example and instilling integrity (9:45)
  • Servant Leadership (16:04)
  • What we need to fix in the industry (18:10)

About Jeremiah

Jeremiah Tower began his culinary career in 1972 as co-owner and executive chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Then continued as executive chef and sole owner of Stars in San Francisco, one of the highest grossing, most innovative, and profitable restaurants in the United States. After Stars, Tower opened restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Manila. Tower sold the Stars group in 1998.

Awards include the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef of the Year” in America (1996), “Regional Best Chef” California (1993), and the Beard Foundation “Best American Regional Cookbook” for Jeremiah Tower’s New American Classics (1986), Nation’s Restaurant News “Fine Dining Hall of Fame,” and an honorary degree from the C.I.A.. Tower has written eight books including Jeremiah Tower Cooks (2002), California Dish (2004), Escoffier, A Dash of Genius (2013), Table Manners: How to Behave in the Modern World and Why (2016), Start the Fire (2017), and an e-book Flavors of Taste (2018).

Keynote speaker and TV guest, including Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, and host of the PBS13-series show “America’s Great Chefs.” Food & Wine Festivals include Pebble Beach, several Meals on Wheels,  the Oxford University and Blenheim Palace Festivals, and the Hawaiian Wine and Food at the Kahala, Jeremiah is the subject of The Last Magnificent, a CNN feature-length documentary film produced by Anthony Bourdain, now on Netflix, and is working on cooking videos, combined with real estate, and a new book.

Books

Ritz & Escoffier, The Hotelier, The Chef and The Rise of the Leisure Class

Start the Fire: How I Began A Food Revolution In America

Jeremiah Tower Cooks: 250 Recipes from an American Master

Jeremiah Tower’s New American Classics

Links

Instagram: @tower.jeremiah

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