August 12, 1966 |
Manhattan, New York
|Education||California Culinary Academy|
Ron Siegel is an American chef working in San Francisco. In August 2012, it was announced he was joining San Francisco restaurant, Michael Mina, as executive chef. He had been Chef of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, taking over for Chef Sylvain Portray in 2004. Siegel is perhaps best known for his 1998 appearance on Iron Chef, becoming the first ever U.S. citizen to win in Kitchen Stadium. His cooking style is known for blending haute French cuisine with subtle Japanese touches.
Moving to San Francisco from New York at the age of seven, Siegel broke into the culinary world as a butcher in Palo Alto, California. Siegel enrolled at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and in 1991 went to work as a line cook at Aqua Restaurant, a seafood restaurant in the Bay Area.
A rising star in the making, Siegel left The French Laundry to become Chef of Charles Nob Hill in San Francisco in 1996, which specialized in a fusion of French and California cuisine.
In 2001, Siegel left Charles Nob Hill to become executive chef of Masa's of San Francisco. Siegel remained at Masa's until June 2004 when he took over the Dining Room of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Focusing on French cuisine with a Japanese influence, Siegel has maintained the Dining Room's reputation as one of the top restaurants in the country.
Siegel’s newest venture, Parallel 37 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, inspired by the geographic latitude near San Francisco is a departure from fine dining to a less formal, more approachable restaurant experience. Seeking not overly-manipulated cuisine, Siegel celebrates simpler foods from local, handpicked ingredients allowing the flavors to speak for themselves.
In 1998, Siegel gained international fame by traveling to Japan to appear as a challenger on the popular TV show Iron Chef, with help from then-mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown who asked for FujiTV (owner and producer of Iron Chef) to accept Siegel as a challenger. Siegel faced Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai in a battle using the theme ingredient lobster. Siegel was at an immediate disadvantage in the competition since neither of the two sous-chefs provided for him could speak English. Siegel produced five dishes:
- Egg Royale
- Lobster Cream Soup with scallops and truffles
- California Salad with lobster, basil oil, tomato concasséed and avocado
- Lobster ravioli with sweet corn sauce
- Lobster and foie gras in fig sauce
In the end, Siegel swept Sakai 4-0. In a post-battle interview, and completely in keeping with the competitive tone of the show, Siegel indicated his willingness to return and defeat another Iron Chef.