Mentor Letters: Bryce Shuman, Betony

Mentor Letters: Bryce Shuman, Betony

To Daniel Humm.

April 26, 2016


Sometimes, the best mentors are those who never expected to be one. The result of Daniel Humm's effect on his then-stagiaire, Betony's Bryce Shuman, was something he most likely couldn't have predicted at the time.  


Last year, a group of chefs came together at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont to cook, drink, and reflect on those key figures who helped define their careers. The unabridged letters originally appeared in the pages of limited-edition print magazine, Bill of Fare—we've republished them here to prove that the industry is just as squishy as you suspected it might be. WE'RE NOT CRYING, OK?






Chef, 

I know we talk and I have thanked you verbally for the training and mentorship that you provided to me during my time at Eleven Madison Park, but I think that there is something a little more fitting in a note, something a little more genuine and heartfelt about putting pen to paper and expressing my gratitude for what you provided to me, and…almost without trying.

I remember back in 2009 when I staged at your restaurant, finishing the shift speaking to you in your office and telling you that I was looking for a restaurant to dedicate myself to. A chef who would become my teacher, my mentor. You said to me, “Well, I don’t know if that’s me, I don’t know if I’m that guy.’ And you were telling me that I knew what kind of restaurant this was going to become, that we had goals and aspirations and that it was going to be hard, but it was going to happen. What I got out of this is up to me. And just like anything great, you get out of it what you put into it.


Years after telling me that you weren’t sure if you were going to be that mentor, that you weren't going to be “That Guy,” without ever trying, you became him. That you for being my mentor, my teacher, the one who pushed me the hardest and the farthest. 

Thank you! 
Bryce 




ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN BILL OF FARE MAGAZINE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETER FRANK EDWARDS