Chef Nate Whiting learned to respect all things green as a youngster, working at the side of his grandmother. Whether helping out in her vegetable garden or simply picking dandelions from across the road - he was a child who loved his vegetables.
Whiting's culinary fate was sealed when his Dad recruited him to wash dishes at a local eatery in his hometown of Rochester, New York. He realized that "he just wants to be in the kitchen", and followed his passion to the former Charleston campus of Johnson and Wales.
Now executive chef at Tristan, Whiting's path has taken him to some of the country's top kitchens - Peninsula Grill, The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, and Maestro in Washington, D.C.
In 2008, he left his post as executive sous chef at The Dining Room at Woodlands Inn for a chance to travel to Italy and study at the renowned cookery school of Da Vittorio, a Relais & Châteaux property in Bergamo.
"I told them it was one of my biggest dreams to go there and cook," he recalls. "I'd worked on getting over there for years."
Whiting says he learned some of his favorite techniques at the culinary school. "It was a great experience."
The chef shares his recipe for a simplified version of the Caprese Salad served at Tristan. The dish showcases heirloom tomatoes picked at their peak.