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Q & A With Bill Telepan

Before opening his eponymous seasonal American restaurant on NYC’s Upper West Side, chef-owner Bill Telepan put his time in at kitchens like Gotham Bar & Grill, Le Bernardin and Judson Grill.  At Telepan, he brings elegance to coddled eggs, dishing them out at dinner atop scrapple.  Bill was a Greenmarketeer before it was even cool.  He’s somehow managed to lure downtowners north of 42nd Street and simultaneously please the impossibly fickle Upper West Sider.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An electrical engineer or a rock guitar player

How did you get into food?
I worked in various restaurants while in high school and really liked it. So I decided on it as a career. Oh, and I liked to eat

What was your first job in food?
At the County Sweet Shoppe in my hometown, I cooked burgers and made sandwiches. And all my friends hung out there and played video games.

How did you decide you wanted to go off on your own and open Telepan?
I was looking to do something while a Judson, and when it closed that process accelerated. I looked at a bunch of restaurants and found this space. My partner, Jimmy Nicholas and I really liked the layout and location, so we went after it. He really wanted to name it Telepan; I was a little skeptical but bought into it after a while.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
The chicken, the lobster bolognese and the biscuits & gravy at brunch.

What’s your least favorite dish (and yes, you must pick one)?
The salmon. I love the prep, but I’m not that crazy about cooked salmon

What is your junk food of choice?
Reese’s peanut butter cups and pizza, but really good pizza

Other than your own, what’s your favorite restaurant in NYC?
I always find myself craving the tagliatelle with shrimp and cabbage at Celeste on the Upper West side. And they have great pizza and cheese.

What culinary trend do you most embrace?
Eggs and pork

What trend do you wish would die already?
Mega restaurants

What’s next on the horizon for you?  Any new ventures or restaurants in the works? Spill the beans…
I have some thoughts, I really enjoy being at Telepan. If I do something, it will definitely be more casual.

72 West 69th St., nr. Columbus Ave.

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl
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