Chef Gerald HirigoyenChef / Owner, Piperade and Bocadillos, Williams-Sonoma Catering, San Francisco, California
Co-owner, Clos Pissara Winery, Catalonia, Spain
Member – Maitre Cuisinier de France
Recipient of Chevalier du Merite Agricole
Gerald Hirigoyen grew up in the Basque region of France surrounded by a cooking culture and his interest in the kitchen started at an early age. After having developed his skills in his hometown of Biarritz, Gerald moved to Paris to start his patisserie apprenticeships at the age of thirteen, before coming to the San Francisco Bay Area more than 30 years ago. He worked at several restaurants and began cultivating what would become his signature: incorporating fresh ingredients into simple yet scrumptious dishes that echo the local spirit as well as that of his homeland.
Gerald opened his first modern French bistro – Fringale – in 1991, which made him “an instant star” according to Michael Bauer’s review in the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2002, Gerald and his wife, Cameron, brought the French-Basque flavors he was raised on to downtown San Francisco with the opening of Piperade. Two years later, he opened Bocadillos. He is in charge of the catering for Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and is co-owner of Clos Pissara Winery in Catalonia. Gerald is also a member of the prestigious Maitre Cuisinier de France and recipient of Chevalier du Merite Agricole.
The Hirigoyens’ restaurants and Gerald Hirigoyen’s accomplishments have been featured in such renowned national food journals as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and The New York Times. He was named one of “Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in America” in 1994 as well as San Francisco Magazine’s “Chef of the Year” in 1995 and a second time in 2003. In 2006, Gerald was a nominee for the James Beard Award: “Best Chef, California.” Gerald and the restaurants have appeared in television programs on The Food Network, ABC, CBS, PBS, and NBC. Gerald Hirigoyen has also published three cookbooks: “Bistro” (Sunset Books ©1995), “The Basque Kitchen” (Harper-Collins ©1999), and his newest “Pintxos” (Ten Speed Press ©2009), which features recipes for the increasingly popular tapas or small plates.