Restaurant kitchens require a certain amount of manpower to run, so unless you’re popping over to his house, the chef isn’t really the one cooking dinner for you. It’s the chef plus many hands -- cooks who arrive early to wash, peel, and chop, prep all day, and cook through service, staying late to scrub down the kitchen and take stock of the walk in.
There are few exceptions to this rule. You’ll find one in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, where the married couple Elise Kornack (back of house) and Anna Hieronimus (front of house) have a 12-seat restaurant called Take Root. Kornack, who is 27, has no prep cook, no dishwasher, no intern to pick and wash herbs, no sous chef to put out the fires. The kitchen is hers alone and what comes out of it can be marvelous.