The French pretty much invented farm-to-table cuisine.
Or, well, they perfected the culinary techniques needed to maximize the foods produced on a seasonal basis.
Basically, it's the same thing.
Point being: It makes sense that a French-trained chef would be chosen to take the reigns at a restaurants that focuses on sourcing local, sustainable, seasonal products.
Parisian-trained Eric Baker -- who studied at the prestigious L'Ecole Ritz Escoffier and staged under Michael Roth at the Ritz Hotel -- has been appointed executive chef at Max's Harvest.
Baker joined the team of the acclaimed farm-to-table spot about three months ago when chef James Kampper moved to Max's Grille.
Since joining the restaurant Baker has been working to find his way in the concept.
"My background is French; I lived in Paris for culinary school," says Baker. "Both styles fit very well in concept. It's about technique and letting local produce shine. You're just making it a little more enjoyable and beautiful than it already is."
While Baker is still using the same purveyors and the same high-quality local ingredients, he's been slowly incorporating a slightly different style of cuisine to the restaurant.
"We always did a double cut pork chop," says Baker. "Now we're doing a pork duo with pork loin and shoulder using various techniques and preparation to give guests more diversified flavor and texture."
He made his foray into South Florida with a four year position at Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach, followed by two years as a sous chef at Chops Lobster Bar in Boca Raton before moving up to executive sous chef at the W Fort Lauderdale Hotel and Steak 954.
Baker's latest post was as executive chef at Fort Lauderdale's Lobster Bar Sea Grille.
Although that position didn't work out as anticipated, Baker is pleased with the turn of events.
"Sometimes good things come of bad situations," he says. "I've come to the right place, cooking the things I want to be cooking. Working with Dennis [Max] and Patrick [Broadhead] has been great; it's a really supportive team."
Max's Harvest is located at 169 NE Second Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-381-9970, or visit maxsharvest.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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