EXECUTIVE CHEF & CO-FOUNDER
Parke Ulrich attributes his life-long interest in cooking and food to his childhood spent on the shores of New Jersey, an inspiration that has brought him to the position of executive chef at two of San Francisco’s most desirable dining destinations, Waterbar and EPIC Steak.
As a vocal advocate of sustainability sourced seafood and fresh, local, organically-grown produce, the Philadelphia native’s passion for excellence remains the guiding force as the executive chef behind Waterbar and EPIC Steak’s daily-changing menus, bringing an even greater awareness of sustainability to the respective restaurants staffs and guests alike.
In 2014, Ulrich was asked to become the executive chef of Waterbar’s sister restaurant, EPIC Steak, located directly across the piazza, only a few steps away. He took the challenge of heading both restaurants as executive chef. Both restaurants now thrive with a combined revenue exceeding $26 million per annum.
Prior to his role at the helm of Waterbar, Ulrich first collaborated with Chef/Owner Mark Franz as part of the opening team of world renowned San Francisco restaurant Farallon. During Ulrich’s ten-year tenure, seven of which he served as executive chef, Farallon consistently appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Restaurant list and Zagat Guide’s Top Ten Most Popular Restaurants. Ulrich’s affinity for seafood as well as his parallel thinking and similar philosophies to Franz regarding cuisine were richly cultivated at Farallon. Ulrich and Franz have proven to
be a formidable pairing, as part of the opening team for the critically acclaimed Nick’s Cove Restaurant in Tomales Bay, California.
Ulrich was first introduced to the Bay Area’s focus on seasonal cooking and the bounty of fresh, local ingredients available in Northern California when he accepted a position at the Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, California. Ulrich rose through the ranks at Lark Creek Inn to the position of executive chef before he met Franz and made the eventual move to Farallon in 1997.
Before moving to Northern California, Ulrich learned the importance of quality ingredients and the unstinting pursuit of excellence in the classic French kitchen of 5-star restaurant Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia.
A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Ulrich’s professional culinary career began in 1989 in Aspen. He spent three years at the Hotel Jerome, where he was quickly promoted to lead line cook. He eventually left Aspen and the Hotel Jerome to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he graduated first in his class.