Chef Profile: André Natera
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Over the course of his 16-year culinary career, André Natera has developed a food philosophy which points to his fresh approach to cooking: If it grows together, it goes together. This ideology makes Natera a natural fit at The Fairmont Dallas, where he oversees all kitchen operations for Pyramid Restaurant & Bar and hotel catering.
A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, Natera has pursued his culinary education through the years with various food certification programs, including a Techniques of Healthy Cooking program in St. Helena, California. It was during that time that the fresh market concept began to shape his current philosophy. “I draw inspiration from Mother Nature, the true workhorse in the kitchen. Fresh, simple and approachable are what resonate with people and with their palates.”
Natera’s approach in the kitchen at The Fairmont Dallas is one that plays up familiar flavors to create a pleasant surprise for the palate. His fresh fare is inspired by the herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables in the 3,000-square-foot garden located on the hotel’s terrace. Natera and his culinary staff nurture each ingredient individually to create signature dishes like homemade duck-and-pistachio terrine served with whole-grain mustard, cherry gastrique and port wine poached figs; and a garden herb and Dijon-crusted rack of lamb served with artichoke, olive and fava bean sauté and ricotta gnocchi.
Natera’s personal interests include studying Eastern philosophy and Taoism, which influence his culinary philosophy. “Taoism is all about respecting nature, keeping things simple and not overcomplicating things in life. In general, that’s my approach to food.”