Pastry Chef Amanda Cook has degrees in both the culinary arts and food science, and she brings them together in inventive and heart-warming ways on her dessert menu at New York's Cookshop.
'We Chat With' on Serious Eats
At M. Wells Steakhouse in Long Island City, New York, pastry chef Bethany Costello blasts music and rolls her desserts out in an old-school cart. But her gusty, non-conformist style with pastry is the real deal.
Executive Pastry Chef Angela Pinkerton has been at Eleven Madison Park since before their third Michelin star, before the "New York" menu, and before they even had an official pastry department. Which means she's got a lot to say on how much EMP has evolved, and how she's played a part in that.
Pastry Chef Kierin Baldwin makes some insane pies at New York's The Dutch, like Poached Pear with Red Wine and Rosemary and Chocolate-Crust Coffee-Cream. But in no ways are pie the end-all of her talents.
Chef Abby Swain created an intentional dessert menu for New York's CraftBar in 2011, and took over the kitchen at Craft last summer. Her desserts are both homey and adventurous, and she shared how that's all come about.
Pastry Chef Ghaya Oliveira is truly a result of the old guard of professional chefs; she worked her way from a dishwasher to the Executive Pastry Chef of Daniel Boulud's acclaimed namesake French restaurant. We caught up on what that took from her, and what's most important with how she composes her stunning desserts.
Chika Tillman of ChikaLicious owns a Dessert Bar and Dessert Club in New York City and teaches chefs internationally how to carry our her "ChikaLicious way" of treating incredibly seasonal ingredients with a light hand and much care. Ten years on she's still running strong, and we caught up with her to hear about her unchanging philosophies, unique space, and the one dessert that changed her life.
Chef Daniel Boulud closed down DB Bistro Moderne for a bit to give it an interior facelift and his new executive chef—Jim Burke from Philadelphia—plenty of time to test and revamp the new menu. We talk about how you remake a French classic that's already been a hit in your bistro for over ten years, and how to work with seasonal ingredients minus the trend factor.
Katz's Deli has been a New York institution since 1888, and third-generation owner Jake Dell is celebrating with a beautiful new book out this week, Autobiography of a Delicatessen. We talked about Jake's history with growing up in a deli, the celebrity clientele flanking the tables, and how Katz's is so much more than just pastrami on rye.
Chef Richard Kuo has worked at wd-50, Corton and Seasonal, so you'd expect him to be at least interested in what kitchen science has contributed to the current landscape of cuisine in New York. But his interest goes even further, and while he appreciates how much technology can open up his budget so he can rely on less hands and better ingredients, at his core he focuses on rules and patterns to make sure his dishes come out exactly as he wants them, every time they're made. We dove into where this kind of passion came from, and how it comes to us at the table.
Chef Erik Ramirez is pushing the boundaries of Peruvian food at Raymi, the cool and cavernous space in the Flatiron district. While he dreams of indigenous ingredients he can't find up here, he works to bring together his extensive culinary background with the flavors he grew up with. We caught up on how he makes that happen.
Chef Paul Gerard opened up Exchange Alley in the East Village the day the hurricane hit, so he opened his doors and gave his food away. Now he welcomes diners in for a very old-school ambiance and flavor-forward, simple menu in a restaurant he says he can run by himself if any other disaster hits his hometown. We caught up with Gerard on what his village history means to him, how sharply the food scene here has changed, and how he brings old and new New York together on a plate.
Chef Elizabeth Faulkner of San Francisco's wildly popular Citizen Cake moved out to open Krescendo in Brooklyn and then left in in less than a year, which floored some people in the serious eating and food media worlds. Now, at the newly opened Corvo Bianco in what was once the Upper West Side's iconic Endicott Hotel lobby, she's serving up plates both ambitious and comforting, and logging in long days to develop her menu just right for the extremely wanting neighborhood.
Ron Ben-Israel changed the course of celebration cakes when he threw out plastic columns and satin ribbons and starting molding sugar in unconventional ways. We caught up with him on where creation comes from and what it takes to make it in New York.
Chef Chris Cheung is a born and bred New Yorker with some serious roots in Chinese cuisine, both here and abroad. We caught up on how that comes together with the classic French technique he's worked with at Jean-Georges and other fine-dining establishments, the changing landscape of Chinese cuisine now, and how he hopes that will all manifest for him in the future.
Chef Vanessa Miller was part of the team that opened The Dalloway in Soho in only one month, despite that fact that she's never worked in New York before and had a lot of catching up to do. Her small plates won over patrons and bits of press but, at only 25, she's well aware that her palate and preferences are still nowhere near set. We chatted with Chef Vanessa about what that experience was like and how being young sometimes gives the advantage.
We've now interviewed around 100 of New York's most prominent chefs and shakers, and sometimes the depth of our conversation even surprises us. This week we share a collection of the answers to a question we ask outside of what we've printed before: "What has cooking taught you about yourself that you've had to overcome?"
Chef Michael Psilakis is no stranger to restaurant openings and intense food, but his newly opened MP Taverna comes with the added challenge of it's location being in the heart of Astoria. We chatted with Psilakis on what Greek food means to him now, what it meant when he first started cooking and where he still wants the conversation on Greek cuisine to go.
Chef Lisa Giffen is working on taking Maison Premiere's fish-heavy menu to the next level, adding some rich meat dishes and some fun plays on French flavors. We chatted about how she's adapted from being just another cook to running her own kitchen.
Marco Canora's ten years at Hearth have mellowed him out in more ways than one. We chatted with him about developing relationships with staff and diners, and how getting more hands-off made him a better chef.