The Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, a collaboration between chef Thomas McNaughton, restaurateurs David Steele and David White as well as partners Kara Bratcher, Vanya Shekell and chef Ryan Pollnow, currently includes projects: flour + water, central kitchen, salumeria as well as the bar Trick Dog. In addition to the partnership with Chef Pollnow on Aatxe, the group includes the project Cafe Du Nord in partnership with The Bon Vivants
Thomas McNaughton, executive chef, ne timeas restaurant group: Chef Thomas McNaughton started working in kitchens at a very young age in Southern New Jersey. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Thomas moved to the Bay Area and started working at La Folie. He then went on to become sous chef at two of San Francisco’s most respected restaurants: Gary Danko and Quince.
In addition to his time in San Francisco, McNaughton traveled throughout Europe to work and stage at Michell Rostang in France, Tantrise in Germany, and Sassege in Italy.
The James Beard Foundation nominated Thomas for Rising Star Chef in 2011, and again in 2012, and flour + water was nominated as Best New Restaurant in 2010. In addition to flour + water, Thomas currently oversees the growth and development of Central Kitchen and Salumeria, two projects that the ne timeas restaurant group opened in spring 2012.
David White, partner, ne timeas restaurant group: David White, an Irish national, moved from Europe to San Francisco in 1997 and has lived here since, working in a number of different capacities at an array of renowned establishments. These days you are less likely to see him on the floor as his time is mostly spent behind the scenes focusing on the healthy evolution of the ne timeas restaurant group and the growth of the organization as a whole. “There are so many components that go into creating a successful restaurant, I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be exposed to every aspect of this process and to be able to work with so many amazing people”. David is most proud of at the ne timeas restaurant group is the great sense of family and the culture that we have created among our staff.
David Steele, partner, ne timeas restaurant group: David Steele, also a New Jersey native, merges the heart of a food entrepreneur with the brain of a born businessman. Eight years of restaurant experience segued into 18 more working in finance, most recently as a Executive Director of a wealth management firm. The ne timeas restaurant group is the realization of a life-long dream to return to the food world and create a restaurant that has “spectacularly high standards while maintaining a sense of its humble beginnings”. For Steele, excellence does not equal exclusivity. He applies this pursuit of excellence to every aspect of the ne timeas restaurant group’s operations, not just food and service, but also atmosphere, design, employee satisfaction, financial sustainability, and the ne timeas restaurant group’s role within its neighborhood and community.
Ryan Pollnow, chef, ne timeas restaurant group: Chef Ryan Pollnow never imagined that working in a country club kitchen as a teenager would lay the groundwork for his career path. After graduating from culinary school, Ryan traveled abroad to continue his culinary education in Northern Spain, where he immersed himself in the Basque country’s culture and cuisine at restaurant Mugaritz. When Ryan returned to the U.S. he moved to San Francisco, working as sous chef under Randy Lewsi at the former Mecca Restaurant. He later went back to Sonoma, accepting a position at Jackson Family Winery where he discovered his love for agriculture.
After moving back to San Francisco once again, Pollnow joined the flour + water team as chef de cuisine and later took over as chef de cuisine of central kitchen in 2013, where he earned acclaim from Zagat, recognizing him as a “30 Under 30″ up-and-comer on the Bay Area food scene. Now, Pollnow brings what he loved about Spain to San Francisco with Aatxe.