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Watch Tavern on the Green's New Chef Jeremiah Tower Reflect on His Career

"Who am I really?"

Here's a video from this summer's MAD Symposium featuring newly christened Tavern on the Green chef Jeremiah Tower, who, at the time this was filmed, was officially retired from his celebrated career as a pioneer of California cuisine. In the talk, Tower reflects on his narrowing first day at Chez Panisse — a job he took because "I was down to my last $25" as a failed underwater architect — and recounts how he taught culinary students that "quality is only barely subjective."

Tower also talks about his "over-the-top" San Francisco restaurant Stars, which debuted in 1984 with the opening motto: "It's everything from 'blue jeans' less to 'black tie' more." Go, watch Tower reminisce about career benchmarks and reveal what (male) celebrity was the biggest diva to ever patronize Stars.

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