Fred Muller is the executive chef of El Meze Restaurant in Taos, N.M. Although he grew up in Europe, he is a Southerner by birth. While living in Switzerland, he worked in a small elegant hotel and received his first training in classical French cuisine. Returning to the United States in 1980, Muller had the opportunity to work at prestigious restaurants including Denver’s Rattlesnake Club & the Santa Fe Bar and Grill in Berkley, California.
When Muller’s parents retired to a seacoast town in North Carolina, he decided to leave the West in search of his Southern roots. Thus began his intense interest in regional cooking. In 1987 Muller, now part-owner and chef at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, N. C., was voted one of the Top 10 New Southern Chefs by Southern Magazine and he also received accolades in Southern Living and The New York Times.
Muller returned to the West in 1990, this time to refocus on the regional cooking of the Southwest. He continued his research and study in the history of this area’s cuisine. In 1994, Muller opened Fred’s Place in Taos, N. M., where he received critical acclaim for his traditional and innovative approach to regional Northern New Mexican cuisine. It was at this time that Muller wrote and published his first cookbook, LA COMIDA, The Foods, Cooking and Traditions of the Upper Rio Grande.
As executive chef for El Meze, which opened its doors in 2008, Muller expresses his passion for unexpected and innovative flavor combinations. The restaurant is located in the fully restored Hacienda El Torreon in Taos with its rustic charm a befitting venue for Muller’s fresh, regionally inspired cuisine from Spain and Northern New Mexico. He calls it "La Comida de las Sierras – the food of the Mountains."