Chef Adam Fleischman of Umami Burger - Biography
Los Angeles, CA
Before Adam Fleischman fell in love with umami, he had a long affair with wine. But his first love was the written word. Fleischman studied literature in college and prepared for a life in journalism. But a trip to Burgundy after graduation sparked a culinary and oenophilic fire in the fledgling journalist, so he focused his writing on food and wine.
Fleischman quickly became immersed in the wine world. He worked for several prominent Los Angeles wine retailers and also served as a wine consultant to Tesori Imports, a top importer of European wines. Fleischman was responsible for hand picking quality wines for import to the United States, a role that not only involved objective evaluation of flavor profiles, but also assessment of their appropriateness for the American market. With so much necessary study of the national palate, Fleischman was more than ready to found—and run—two of LA’s first wine bars, BottleRock and Vinoteque.
Detecting the myriad flavors in wines was an ideal primer for Fleischman’s introduction and eventual committed fascination with the fifth taste, umami. Infatuated with the so-called “savory” flavor, Fleischman developed a restaurant concept wholly dedicated to emphasizing umami through an unlikely vehicle, the all-American burger. He opened his first Umami Burger in La Brea in 2009, and four more locations have quickly followed in Los Angeles, earning the chef a StarChefs.com 2010 Rising Star Concept Award. And in 2011, Fleischman continued his foray with a more fine dining approach, opening Red Medicine, with 2010 Los Angeles-San Diego Rising Star Chef Jordan Kahn. But Fleischman isn’t resting on his laurels. He plans to share his love for umami and expand his burgeoning savory empire all over the globe—no doubt with a side trip to Burgundy.