Chef Charlie Parker has helmed three of the Daniel Patterson Group’s Kitchens: Plum, Haven and now Alfred’s SF. The diversity of these restaurants reflect the diversity of his background, which started at Manresa, and included time at a neighborhood butcher followed by a job at vegetable-centric Ubuntu, and an internship at Noma. Throughout his diverse roles, Parker’s culinary approach remains the same: showcasing local, seasonal ingredients and exploring innovative cooking techniques. His style balances rustic and refined, and his innovative techniques are balanced by a sense of nostalgia in his dishes.
Parker was born in the Bay Area, and got his first restaurant job at the age of 17, as a dishwasher in a neighborhood restaurant. From there, he attended the California Culinary Academy before taking an externship at David Kinch’s newly opened Manresa in Los Gatos. After three years, he had worked his way to sous chef, and developed his culinary approach – showcasing local, seasonal ingredients through innovating cooking techniques.
After three years at Manresa, Parker wanted to gain experience in a high volume restaurant, so he went to cook at the one Michelin starred Village Pub in Woodside. Shortly thereafter, he went to work at Severino Community Butcher, a butcher shop in Santa Cruz, where he learned butchery skills and the craft of charcuterie. In the fall of 2007, he traded butchery for the vegetable-focused Ubuntu in Napa Valley. From there, he went to Copenhagen to intern under the tutelage of René Redzepi at the two Michelin starred restaurant, Noma.
In 2010, acclaimed chef Daniel Patterson asked Parker to be the opening executive chef at Plum. At Plum, Parker showcased his approach modern Northern Californian cuisine - innovative techniques, layered yet pure flavors, a sense of locality and seasonality – within a casual, neighborhood setting. While there, he garnered 3.5 stars from the San Francisco Chronicle in addition to being named one of their “Rising Star Chefs” of 2011. Later that year, Parker moved to Southern California to helm the kitchen at Freddy Smalls, an innovative gastropub and cocktail bar.
In the summer of 2014, Parker returned to Oakland and the Daniel Patterson Group as executive chef of Haven, where his rustic yet refined menu received two and a half stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. At the beginning of 2016, Parker put his background at the butcher show to use, stepping into the role of executive chef at the refreshed Alfred’s SF. With an 88 year history as a classic San Francisco steakhouse, Alfred’s required a careful update to the menu – one that increase the quality, variety and seasonality of the menu, while maintaining enough classic steakhouse style to reflect the vintage surroundings. Charlie’s diverse background makes him an excellent fit for the restaurant, where his seasonal side dishes and vegetarian plates have garnered as much media attention as the dry-aged, mesquite grilled steaks.