Chef Sven Mede at One Pico shows off La Quercia Prosciutto with grilled peaches, watercress, hazelnuts, balsamic onions.
Down where Pico Boulevard meets the sea, Chef Sven Mede conducts an orchestra of cuisines and styles among two hotels and five separate dining experiences.
We caught up to the German-born chef during a quick break at One Pico at the famed Shutters Hotel overlooking the beach. Since taking over as head chef last August, Mede’s revamped the menu at one of Santa Monica’s most popular dining spots. Its farm-to-table California cuisine represents the restaurant group’s most elegant dining experience with Catch across the street at Casa Del Mar serving up quintessential seafood. Among the two hotels there’s also a café and two bar lounges with sushi and small plates.
“It’s nice we have different opportunities. you might have an idea that doesn’t fit in one concept but it’s great for this other concept,” Mede said. “With the farmers market on one side and ocean on the other, in all of the restaurants we are specializing in a very seasonal product.”
Both Mede’s grandfather and father worked in the culinary industry in Germany, and he attended a cooking school in Germany. He went on to work in England, Chicago and Las Vegas, picking up on new techniques as he went along.
“You pick your style based on people you worked for,” Mede said. “You just pick it up and work it into your repertoire. I want people to recognize it’s about the food. WE’re not doing crazy foams and all this gastronomy things. We’re doing a lot of fresh seafood. It’s a lot more quality product based cuisine with great flavor without adding too much to the food.”