David Holman is the Executive Chef of Charlie Palmer Steak and oversees all the Palmer Grand Sierra Resort restaurants. Showing his culinary diversity, Chef Holman skillfully mixes the past, present, and future in neo-traditional renditions of steak houses classics. Learn more about David below:
Where are you from?
Stockton, California. It’s an agriculture town with lots of asparagus, apples, and walnuts.
How long have you been working at Charlie Palmer Steak?
Seven years. Almost 15 in total with Charlie Palmer Group.
How old were you when you found your passion for cooking?
I was about 12. I had to make dinner once a week as part of my chores. My mom and I had themed nights. One time we made wonton soup and fermented bean cakes for dessert. Finding new flavors and learning new cooking techniques has been a true learning experience ever since.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Sadly I do not. Does cooking count?
If you had to eat one thing/dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Clam Chowder - the New England Kind. Great clams, little bacon and potatoes. WOW!
Do you have a role model you look up to?
Chef Palmer, of course. I have worked for him for almost 15 years. He has shown me the way to be a good chef and how to run a successful operation but also create dynamic teams in our kitchens and restaurants.
What is your dream vacation?
Spending a month on a small farm in Burgundy in the late summer. Working in the gardens while cooking each night and enjoying the harvest season of the greatest wine region. Plus, I would have to visit some great restaurants and bistros. Love that French food… charcuterie, bread, wine, cheese….
What is your favorite dish to make?
Bread. I make bread each week at home. At the restaurant we make house made brioche that we serve. Using simple ingredients made with our hands really brings it full circle. It’s amazing what we can make with our hands.
What is your favorite thing dish to make on the menu?
Foie Gras. It is a great delicacy and many guests come from California where it is “illegal” there. We pan sear it and serve it with seasonal fruit. Now we are doing it with a fig tart and port. For spring we did caramelized apricots and cinnamon pain perdu. It was fantastic. We finished the dish with BLiS bourbon finished maple syrup.
What is the first thing you learned from Chef Charlie Palmer?
On my first stage day, he showed how to do a potato tuille crisp using on Chinese mandolin. He cut the potato, dipped it in clarified butter and created a potato lace that resembled a paper doily. We baked it between inverted sheet pans and they came out great. I continued to prep in the corner and saw that he was running the pass and put one on a dish. It was great to be a part of that team. Matt Zappoli [our new Chef for Charlie Palmer Steak NY] was on the grill that night. Funny how things play out!