Sarah Simmons runs a culinary salon out of a space that's an antique store by day. Some nights she's executing a themed menu of her own. Others she's on the line cooking with chefs from all over the country, giving them an opportunity to stand in the spotlight for New York's hungriest eaters and media personnel. But with six years of supper club hosting at her back and a huge boost from Food and Wine magazine, this consultant-turned-chef is more than able to take it all on. Here she tells us how she does it, and why.
Chef Wolfgang Ban has a large laugh, a joyful sense of play, and a serious menu at his Michelin-starred Seasonal in midtown, as well as his downtown Edi and the Wolf and The Third Man spots. With his roots in western Austria heavily influencing his menus, he's lived in New York for over ten years and easily calls it home. We caught up with Wolfgang about what it takes to keep a fine dining restaurant relevant over time, how his corner of Austria is a melting pot not dissimilar to New York, and what the word 'hospitality' actually means.
This month Chef Daniel Boulud celebrates the 20th anniversary of his first New York restaurant, Daniel. With seven restaurants covering a wide range of French cuisine in New York alone and another seven restaurants worldwide, the result of all that intensity and focus has given him much to celebrate. And while we've been given generous glimpses into the festivities, it was his reflections on the New York scene in those 20 years and his part in it that we were most curious about. Here's what we found out.
Sweet, spicy, smoky and sultry, we ate our way through 19 plates at the Lucky Rice Grand Tasting. Here's what we got for you.
Toward the end of last night's Taste of the Nation event, we overheard an industry insider declare that the shaken and stirred cocktails trumped the plates we all gobbled up. As a team who conquered our fair share of sampling both, we had to agree that it was a tough call.
Last night saw 82 Mercer packed with a huge food event for a good cause, and 59 restaurants came together with bartenders and wine purveyors for Taste of the Nation, benefiting Share Our Strength's "No Kid Hungry." Chefs Marc Murphy, George Mendes, Matt Lightner, Missy Robbins, and the like brought their A-games, and we stayed far later feasting and enjoying than we'd intended to. Here are the details of the 30 bites we savored.
Brazillian pastry chef Thiago Silva has a lot going on—running the kitchens at The General and Catch, making enormous, complicated celebration cakes for celebrities, and ensuring that his new grows up with a broader palate than his mother's. We chatted with Silva about how a Brazilian chef crafts Asian desserts, what kind of music he plays in his kitchens, and if the inside of those fancy cakes is worth the eating.
The Taste of the Lower East Side brought some of our favorite chefs, sweet-makers and cocktail-mixers to 82 Mercer last night in a benefit for the Grand Street Settlement. With almost 50 tables representing the best of the neighborhood, we slammed through what we could and were pleasantly surprised at the overall quality and abundance of thoughtful dishes. Come check out what made us giddy.
At the recently opened Le Restaurant below All Good Things Market in Tribeca, the $100 6-course tasting menu is "no choice / no substitutions," and changes daily depending on what Chef Ryan Tate feels like cooking and what's at peak season, literally, today. We hung out in the kitchen with Tate, owner Ryan Wittels and the team, to give you a glimpse on what's happening below the market.
Tien Ho's newly opened Montmartre in Chelsea has all the elements of a successful neighborhood bistro going for it; a prime location, the backing of Gabe Stulman's Little Wisco mini-empire, and a menu full of depth and commitment. We caught up with Ho about the time he took off to travel home to Vietnam before beginning major work on his new digs, the state of French food in New York and how he wants his contribution to fit it.
When Bosie Tea Parlor opened up almost two years ago, it gave pastry chef Damien Herrgott complete creative freedom to build a menu of classic French desserts with just enough touches of contemporary, urban fun. In that time the tiny spot has built up a healthy roster of regulars, and tables are getting harder and harder to snag during certain hours. Herrgott is largely to thank, and his work is garnering him more attention of his own, like the Dessert Professional Top Ten Pastry Chefs of 2012 nod. We snagged some time with Herrgott to chat about why he left his patisserie-owning family in the east of France for New York-via-Paris, and what we're still getting wrong about those pretty little macarons we hate to love so much.
Chef Nick Anderer has taken on an ambitious project: dusting off old Roman recipes that sometimes involve pigs feet and lamb intestines and making them palatable for a New York audience. But no matter how he does it, what matters most to him is that everyone leaves Maialino with a smile on their faces. Here he tells us how he tries to do just that.
Chef Pichet Ong of Sugar and Plumm wears many hats and seems to have three dozen to-do lists. A self-taught chef in both the savory and pastry worlds, his work has garnered him many awards, and his products dazzle and delight the young and young at heart. We caught up with Chef Ong at the new upper west side location of Sugar and Plumm to talk about where all the energy comes from and what's most important to him in and out of the kitchen.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto has a great laugh. He's also somewhat of a goofball when the camera is turned on him. His recently opened Tribeca Canvas is his tenth restaurant worldwide, and while he admits to getting older and slowing down he shows no signs of stopping just yet. We caught up with the happy chef on his new kind of cuisine, why nerves often make him want to quit Iron Chef, and why his round-the-country tour started and immediately ended when he came to New York.
The 6th annual Choice Eats tasting event packed the 69th Armory last night with over 50 tables of food and countless people pouring potent libations. Here's all we managed to inhale.
Ducks Eatery's Will Horowitz blew us away at The Brisket King of New York, so we had to track him to his tiny East Village space to see what else he was cooking up. On any given night you might be treated to live music, or a crawfish boil, or the company of a 90-year old former ballerina, or some free whiskey. There may be smoked goat neck as a special. No matter which way you slice it, Horowitz has some interesting things going on. Read on to find out about the interesting things that brought him here.
At Dirt Candy, chef/owner Amanda Cohen takes vegetables as far as they can go, sometimes to the point where their flavor potential astounds even her. But she's not on a soap box about vegetarianism. Rather, she uses her voice to even out the playing field between diners and chefs, encouraging conversation and communication over elitism and anonymity.
"Is molecular gastronomy out? Are hydrocolloids and concepts like deconstruction passé?" So challenges Chef Alex Stupak in his second incarnation of the Push Project. Last Thursday and Friday evening, he welcome his friend / former colleague at Alinea Chef Jordan Kahn of Red Medicine in Beverly Hills into his kitchen at Empellon Cocina to serve nine courses to a group of hungry guests.
Chef Carmen Quagliata has been at the helm of Union Square Cafe for eight years now. And along with some big changes (adding a small plate menu for the bar, starting a weekend brunch program and recently opening up the front of the restaurant for a 14-seat chef's table), he's constantly developing his menu, keeping in touch both with his Italian roots and the ever-evolving ingredients coming from the market only 50 yards away.
We chatted with Quagliata about this line—how do you evolve such an iconic restaurant while making sure it remains true to itself?
It's been a busy few months for Chef Eduard Frauneder: while hurricane Sandy flooded one of his restaurants, he was trying to open a bar, all while maintaining the sense of community he and his partner Wolfgang Ban have worked hard to build. We sat down with him to talk about the challenges of recovering from the storm, opening his new bar, and what family means to his business.
Santos Party House was packed last night with 14 tables of brisket: fatty and lean, dressed up and dressed down, paired with a pickle and wrapped in a pita. We fought through the packed crowd to sample every abundant plate. BrisketTown's Daniel Delaney took home the crown, with Tchoup Shop's Simon Glenn awarded for "Best Non-Brisket Brisket."
This week, Executive Chef Nick Anderer unveils a new olive oil tasting program at Danny Meyers' Italian trattoria, Maialino. Here Nick explains his motivation behind the program, what's on the menu now, and what we can expect soon.
Chef Hung Huynh of Catch and The General may be most known for winning Season 3 of Top Chef and for the clubby, star-studded clientele at his restaurants. But he's all about the food, and continues to turn out full-flavored dishes that speak to his Vietnamese and Chinese background. We caught up with Chef Huynh at The General for a few nibbles of some of his favorites, and a chat on pulling everything together in New York City.
For a guy with four restaurants under his belt, Chef / partner Gabe Thompson still cooks almost every day. And, man, can he cook. We caught up with Thompson about how he landed in New York, why he was miserable at Le Bernardin, his company's tight partnership and why his floor at home is covered in milk.
Cochon 555 took over Pier 60 yesterday, where five of New York's swankiest female chefs used whole heritage hogs in their menus, paired with five wineries and a slew of bourbon and mezcal tables, and an entire Berkshire hog was butchered by Sara Bigelow of The Meat Hook and raffled off. We ate and drank our way around the room and brought you our 13 favorite moments, and the team that took home the gold.
We've been interviewing some of New York's most interesting chefs—24 and counting—and often get asked if we encounter a lot of ego and attitude. For the most part, the answer is a resounding "no!" Instead, we've found extremely passionate, focused, humble, close-to-Type-A personalities who, more than anything, believe in creating delicious food and connecting with it to other people. Here are some of our favorite remarks from those interviews.