PHILOSOPHY AND TRAINING
Chef Rafe’s (Nate Carney) food philosophy is exemplified in each and every dish he brings to the table: Fresh, simple, and intensely delicious. His passion for food culture began at a young age watching his father prepare farm fresh meats and vegetables alike.
Chef Rafe started his education with a Bachelor's degree from Knox College in northwestern Illinois. He then was accepted to the prestigious French Culinary Institute just outside of San Francisco.
To complement the innovative foods he was learning to prepare, Chef Rafe also graduated from the Institute’s Intensive Sommelier Training Program, obtaining a Level 2 Certification.
Chef Rafe has had the great fortune of working with world-renown Chef Jacque Pepin and Chef David Kinch of Manresa, awarded two Michelin Stars. Of personal interest was his non-profit work with Chef Cesare Casella, Roger Powell and Xavier Mayonoye at the 2012 Meals on Wheels Gala in San Francisco, CA.
Chef Rafe’s Professional experience began in Los Gatos, CA under Chef Nick Difu at Nick’s Next Door. He also found his love for baking while working at Jen’s Cakes in San Jose, CA under Pastry Chef Jen Kwapinski who happens to be the star of the hit TV show, Next Great Baker.
With wet feet, Chef Rafe headed to the world’s food capital, Paris, and found himself working under the great Braden Perkins at Verjus, which was voted best new restaurant in Paris by the New York Times.
Chef Rafe decided to move home to Madison, Wisconsin, a city known for its amazing restaurants per capita. Here he employed his talent and passions as Co-Executive Chef at Merchant. Next, Chef Rafe was Sous Chef for Epic Systems in Verona, WI for approximately 3 years. Currently, he is Executive Chef at Pasture & Plenty in Madison.
When asked where his passion resides today, Chef Rafe has fallen in love with preparing for private events. He’s no stranger to weddings, showers, holiday endeavors and intimate or extensive get-togethers, whether for 2 or 200 people. Chef Rafe prepares for Fortune 500 company events and travels domestically for private events.
“There’s something magical in communicating through food. In fact, there’s nothing like speaking to someone through that first bite.”