chefwatch

Jason Hall Doesn't Want to Ever Leave Michael Psilakis

Jason Hall

Jason Hall is like a son to Michael Psilakis. Or maybe a grandson?Photo: Melissa Hom

Name: Jason Hall

Age: 28

Restaurants: Anthos and Mia Dona

Background: Hall Worked at San Francisco’s Aqua and One Market, followed by a long period as a line cook under George Morrone, at the four-star restaurant the Fifth Floor. Hall then spent five formative years at Craft, first under Marco Canora and then Damon Wise, before joining with Michael Psilakis and eventually becoming executive chef at his restaurants.

Why he’s a comer: Though young, and even younger looking, Hall is a major part of the explosion of creativity that made Dona and then Anthos such successes. Michael Psilakis says of the boyish chef, “He brings a youthful passion to the culinary art that is equaled only by his technical skills in the kitchen.… He makes his teachers proud every time he ties an apron. I treat him as I would my son.”

Self-described style: “I look at each element of a dish, saying, ‘What can I do to refine it and get the most flavor out it and still put it back together, so that it all fits and makes sense to the diner?’”

Judge him by: Braised Burgundy snails in a clay pot. "We braise them with shallot garlic and a Greek brandy called Metaxa, then mix them into the tarhana, a kind of Greek cracked-wheat porridge, with halloumi-cheese fondue. It combines very traditional Greek ingredients, but really refines what is a classic peasant dish."

Guesstimated time of arrival: “I don’t want to leave. I don’t believe in all these cooks who work for someone for a few months and then take off on their own. We’re growing as a team and are going to do many great restaurants together.”

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