Executive Chef Jason Wittek illustrates how integrity and purity of ingredients serve as the pillars of honest, approachable cuisine. Striking the balance between comfort and sophistication, Wittek utilizes ingredients in his dishes that stay within a 100-mile radius of the restaurant. “Everyone, especially in this area, is on the same page when it comes to the concept of sourcing locally,” Wittek says. “But what really changed the way I think and cook, beyond the great opportunity to collaborate with our local artisans, is the mindset that if it’s not within our miles, why not just make our own?”
Whether he is working in-house on fermenting miso or aging a French-style cheese, Wittek takes care in conceptualizing each dish and finds the task of aiming to make everything from start to finish both challenging and satisfying. “Even if it looks a little different on paper, I’m using familiar components, flavors, and textures to make the foods we all love to eat,” he says. “Ultimately I hope these dishes will help remind guests of a time when families made dinner, sat down together, and enjoyed the meal and each other’s company.”
Wittek joins Radius from Piccino Café in the Dogpatch district. The California Culinary Academy graduate launched his career at Spruce restaurant in Presidio Heights, where he worked for five years, eventually becoming sous chef. There, he had the opportunity to contribute to menu development, fully embracing farm-to-table and finding inspiration from the quality and beauty of products from local purveyors while working under the tutelage of Chef Mark Sullivan.
Chef de Cuisine Matthew Kirk
Matthew Kirk, Bay Area native, turned his passion for food into a career after an unsatisfying stint in the mortgage business.
He joined the RADIUS team in March of 2012 as Sous Chef to work alongside his best friend in culinary school, former Executive Chef Pater Cham, When Peter moved to Boston in 2013, Matthew was promoted to Chef de Cuisine.
After finishing culinary school at San Francisco City College, Matthew joined the team at Spruce where he worked with our current Executive Chef Jason Wittek, whom he helped to recruit from Piccino.
Pastry Chef Max Pouvreau
Max Pouvreau creates elegant, imaginative desserts celebrating the Bay Area at Radius. Through highlighting the intensity of seasonal flavors, he finds he does not need to rely on overly rich, heavy, or sweet preparations. Pouvreau specializes in finding balance with surprisingly compatible textures and ingredients, whether he’s tempering the tartness of a thick lemon curd with a light-as-air Italian meringue or pairing the fruitiness of olive oil with the creaminess of locally made vanilla ice cream. “I want our guests to end their experience on a beautiful note, so I come up with desserts that are both pleasing to the eye and taste light and refreshing,” he says. “I hate the feeling when I go to a restaurant and the desserts are so sweet and rich that I can't even finish them.”
Pouvreau’s lifelong love affair with baking and pastry can be traced back to his childhood in France. As a young boy, he’d make cakes with his mother in his hometown of Saint Sever. His career in the kitchen began with culinary training in the south of France and New Zealand. He went on to work in Exeter, England, under Chef Michael Caines at ABode, and under Chef Alain Senderens in Paris and the three Michelin-starred Le Meurice.
In 2009, Pouvreau moved to San Francisco, assuming an assistant pastry chef position at Coi under Chef Daniel Patterson. There, he fully immersed himself in Californian cuisine and embraced the array of locally grown ingredients. “Moving here and discovering all the amazing produce available really influenced my desserts,” he says. “I learned to be more respectful of the produce and to adapt my recipes to bring out the subtleties of California’s fruits and vegetables.”