Kyle ConnaughtonExpressing a moment in time
Despite being a triple-starred Michelin chef, Kyle Connaughton is very approachable. He loves horticulture, perceives cooking as an expression of caring for others and is endlessly intrigued by Japanese cuisine. For him, a life beyond ordinary means to never rest on your laurels.
Life is too short to be in a comfort zone. You have to challenge yourself.Kyle Connaughton3 Michelin Star Chef
As the owner and chef of SingleThread Farm Restaurant and Inn in Sonoma County, California, Kyle is dedicated to nurturing the ingredients from provenance to presentation. On his own five-acre farm he incorporates vegetables harvested that day, expressing a moment in time and connecting guests to the here and now through cuisine.
California meets Japan
“I use chopsticks as the sole tool in my hand because I like the natural rhythm, the way that they flow. I like to keep my palette of tools, somewhat limited and select things specifically for their sort of elegant functionality.”
His love for the Japanese culture started when Kyle was 9 years old during a time when his dad frequently took trips across the Pacific to the far-away island on business. The father-son duo often ate out in Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles and even travelled together to Japan to experience the culture and food. Moved by these experiences, Kyle began his career working in Japanese restaurants, attended a leading Japanese culinary school and did his apprenticeship in Japan before he eventually moved to Hokkaido.
“We’re looking for those big creative breakthroughs, what is that new thing? What is that thing that we can create that no one has ever seen before?”
Kyle and Azuma-san
His very close connection to nature and the Japanese culture are just two of the reasons why he and floral artist Azuma Makoto immediately clicked. “Working with other artists and artisans is so inspiring to us as chefs” says Kyle. “There are so many parallels between what Azuma-san does and the world of floral and what we do in food”.
Understated elegance – working with the Combi Steam Oven
A sauce made with soft tofu, avocado and some herbs created a base and texture to bring the different vegetables and the fish together. He focused on the precise cooking of each ingredient, ensuring all of the different flavours worked harmoniously and in balance with each other.
Capturing a moment – working with the Induction Hob
“What was so cool to me about the hob is the ability to manage so many different things at one time. Up until now, that kind of technology has not allowed us to move with this sort of elegance and flow that we’re looking for in our cooking” Kyle explains. The result is a snapshot of today, the best of what’s in season in a collection of small dishes, celebrating each of the different flavours. Each element is perfectly cooked and artfully presented.
“There’s a Japanese phrase called ‘Kaizen’ and it means good change. Everyday, we talk about what we can do to affect good change. You can’t be resting, you can’t be satisfied, you can’t say that the ordinary is good enough for you, you always have to be pushing to get to that next level.”