Patrick Prager has worked with some of California’s most demanding chefs, leveraging his time with Wolfgang Puck, Traci Des Jardins, George Morrone and Michael Mina into expertise in classic French technique as well as simple, seasonal California cuisine.

Asked about his approach, Prager says, “You can take a simple idea and make it taste fantastic and look gorgeous. Here at the Sawyer Hotel we concentrate flavors, stay focused on the main ingredient and don’t overwork the dishes. Prager frequents farmer’s markets and likes to buy local ingredients that he can use to create dishes with the farm to fork philosophy. “We stay true to that philosophy and manage the line daily to ensure consistency.”

Prager grew up in Alameda and took his first high school job at an ice cream shop where his love of the culinary arts began. In his early twenties he signed on as a line cook at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, learning the business from Chef David Lutz. He built on that basic education with stints at One Market, Aqua, Jardiniere, and various Michael Mina restaurants, working his way into chef and sous chef positions.

Prager has found a way to channel his management skills with a hands-on presence in the kitchen. “I’m a knife-wielding chef, expediting the food during lunch and dinner so that every plate comes out to the same exact standard.”

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