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Q & A with Edi & the Wolf & The Third Man’s Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban

Posted on May 16, 2013 in Chef Q&A

There aren’t really a whole lot of Austrian restaurants in the city. That’s what makes Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban such ambassadors of the cuisine. Ever since opening their first restaurant, Seäsonal, in 2008, the pair has refused to be pigeonholed; consistently showcasing Germanic dishes that go well beyond sausage, fried potatoes and Weiner Schnitzel.

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Q & A with Traif & Xixa’s Jason Marcus

Posted on May 9, 2013 in Chef Q&A

A Jewish chef cooking pork and shellfish in East Williamsburg, one of the largest Hasidic neighborhoods in the city, may seem like little more than a running gag. Especially when he calls that restaurant Traif. And yes, the cheeky irony may initially attract visitors this corner of Brooklyn (the colorful space festooned with heart-studded piggies is also good for a laugh). But Jason Marcus’ thoughtful brand of cooking guarantees their return, long after the joke has worn off.

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Q & A with Arlington Club’s Laurent Tourondel

Posted on May 1, 2013 in Chef Q&A

Laurent Tourondel may be a native of France, but his brand has become synonymous with American classics. Think burgers, fries and milkshakes at LT Burger in Bryant Park, and juicy sirloins and rib eyes at BLT Steak. Though he parted ways with E Squared Hospitality and the BLT empire a few years ago, he just recently returned with his own brand of steakhouse at Arlington Club and he’s taken his famous Gruyere popovers with him.

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Q & A with Flatiron Lounge & Clover Club’s Julie Reiner

Posted on Apr 18, 2013 in Chef Q&A

It’s often said that there aren’t enough women working in professional kitchens. And the same seems to be true of behind the bar. But when it comes to real top of the line mixologists, there are few bigger names in the business than Julie Reiner – and that’s male or female. Owner and beverage director of the jazzy, ten-year-old Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan (which serves intricately layered drinks listed under “Whiskey,” “Brandy,” “Rum,” “Gin,” “Tequila,” and “Vodka”), and the pre-Prohibition era Clover Club in Brooklyn (known for its assortment of Sours and Daisies, Collins and Fizzes, Punches and Royales), Reiner is often credited with revitalizing the golden age of the cocktail, making American classics with fresh juices, handcrafted syrups and infusions, and seasonal ingredients.

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Q & A with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s John Stage

Posted on Apr 5, 2013 in Chef Q&A

When you think of the great BBQ capitals of America, like Texas, North Carolina or Tennessee, you’ll notice that East Coast states never make the list. Yet John Stage, founder of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, has spent the last 25 years working magic with a smoker, producing some of tenderest brisket, tastiest pulled pork, and most lip-smacking ribs you’re likely to find North of the Mason-Dixon line.

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Q & A with Back Forty’s Peter Hoffman

Posted on Mar 19, 2013 in Chef Q&A

When Peter Hoffman opened his seminal, farm-to-table restaurant Savoy in 1990, terms like “local,” “seasonal,” and “sustainable” had yet to become part of the dining lexicon. Now, you’d be hard pressed to find a Manhattan chef that doesn’t make regular runs to the Union Square Greenmarket, or a Brooklyn eatery that fails to cite the origins of its Heritage pork, free-range eggs, and artisanal wedges of farmstead cheese. And although Hoffman shuttered Savoy in 2011, he remains resolute in his mission to eliminate out of season, overly processed ingredients from his restaurant menus.

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Q & A with Salvation Taco’s April Bloomfield

Posted on Mar 5, 2013 in Chef Q&A

The term “Gastropub” gets thrown around pretty freely nowadays. It generally refers to bars that serve food far superior to the expected handful of beer nuts, meat pie, or run-of-the-mill burger. But the concept didn’t get much play outside of England until 2004, when British chef April Bloomfield burst onto the NYC scene with The Spotted Pig.

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Q & A with Louro’s Chef David Santos

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 in Chef Q&A

There are some chefs that would much prefer to hole up in the kitchen with their sauces than interact with their customers. And that’s cool… it’s just not David Santos. On the contrary, the gregarious, heart on his sleeve chef is the kind of guy who invites patrons (and strangers at that!) into his home for supper club meals. Now, you can get a taste of Santos’s cooking, a unique mix of Portuguese, American and other globally inspired cuisines in one.

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Q & A with The Marrow’s Harold Dieterle

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 in Chef Q&A

Way back in 2006, Harold Dieterle was the first to win a little culinary competition called Top Chef. But for anyone familiar with his refined cooking style, drama-free demeanor and unfaltering work ethic, it came as no surprise when he quickly proved himself outside the confines of the show. Lately, Dieterle has food folks chattering over his newest restaurant, The Marrow, with Brooklyn residents bemoaning the fact that it didn’t open in Hotel 718 as originally planned.

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Q & A with Pork Slope’s Dale Talde

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 in Chef Q&A

Considering he’s currently one of the most buzzed about chefs in Brooklyn, it’s hard to believe that Dale Talde was told to pack his knives and go, twice, on Bravo’s reality cooking show, Top Chef. But for fans and customers that have come to know and love him for his outgoing personality, down-to-earth restaurants, and unique fusion dishes like Pretzel Pork and Chive Dumplings and Crispy Oyster and Bacon Pad Thai, a TV show title doesn’t mean much.

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Q & A with China Latina’s Julieta Ballesteros

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 in Chef Q&A

Consistently hailed as one of the top Mexican chefs in NYC, Julieta Ballesteros has worked hard to prove that real Mexican cuisine isn’t about nachos, burritos, and excess amounts of sour cream and shredded cheese.

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Q & A with Maison Premiere’s Chef Jared Stafford-Hill

Posted on Dec 28, 2012 in Chef Q&A

What a difference five years have made in the life of Jared Stafford-Hill.  When we last checked in with him back in 2008, he had just come on as the executive chef at Bobo in the West Village, charged with revitalizing a floundering menu of seasonal French classics.  When he was let go shortly afterwards, however, Stafford-Hill was devastated.  “It was pretty hard.  It was all very surprising,” he said. “I was really cautious afterwards, because that experience was kind of demoralizing.”  So much so, that the mild-mannered chef elected to stay off-the-radar and out of kitchens until just four months ago. Happily, he’s currently finding his mojo again as chef at the stylish Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, helping it evolve beyond oysters and absinthe into a full-blown, high-end eatery.  His series of seafood small plates, which includes Sea Urchin...

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Q & A with La Villette’s Chef Christophe Bonnegrace

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 in Chef Q&A

At age 14, Provence-born chef Christophe Bonnegrace was convinced his cooking career was over before it had started.  His first job, as an apprentice, lasted approximately one week, and ended with the head chef thrusting his hands in the fryer.  “I got scared, escaped the kitchen and pedaled home as fast as I could to get away from this guy!” Bonnegrace remembers.  Luckily his wounds (both literal and figurative) from that grisly first experience eventually healed, setting off a career that’s taken him from celebrity-frequented restaurants and resorts in Beverley Hills (Aristoff Caviar and Fine Food), Maui (The Royal Lahaina) and Las Vegas (Little Buddha), all the way to the far reaches of Africa, where he learned to cook crickets over pit fires with primitive tribes from Cairo and Nairobi. Although his passport may indicate otherwise, at the end...

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Q & A with Tavern on the Green’s New Chef Katy Sparks

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 in Chef Q&A

Katy Sparks may be a farm girl at heart, but that hasn’t stopped her from making her mark at some of the most revered four-star restaurants in New York City.

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Q & A with Il Buco Alimentari’s Chef Justin Smillie

Posted on Oct 4, 2012 in Chef Q&A

It’s been quite a year for chef Justin Smillie, whose cooking at Il Buco Alimentari E Vineria has garnered plenty of attention and packed tables night after night. This NoHo market-cum-restaurant-cum-wine-bar manages to be everything to everyone. From the crusty, Italian breads baked in house, to the salumi dried and aged in the basement, and pastas, made impeccably fresh daily.

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Q&A with Crave Fishbar’s Todd Mitgang

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Not many chefs get the opportunity to be a Chef De Cuisine at just 22 years old.  Todd Mitgang managed to graduate from the French Culinary Institute and land himself in the modern Thai kitchen at Kittichai, inside the stylish, Thompson Hotel.  Mitgang has seen it all over his ten year career.  His breakout success, Crave Ceviche Bar, was destroyed by a freak crane accident in 2008, forcing him to close his restaurant and start virtually from scratch. His next move was an unexpected one, turning up at Cascabel Taqueria where he tried his hand at casual Mexican cooking, then out east in Montauk at South Edison.  But after three years, Mitgang has finally revived the Crave brand with Crave Fishbar as inspired by flavors from all over the globe as ever.   He’s bringing back old classics and taking risks...

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Q&A with Ember Room’s Ian Charlermkittichai

Posted on Jul 16, 2012 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Not many chefs start there culinary career pushing a food cart through the streets of Bangkok, but “Ian Kittichai” Chalermkittichai isn’t your average chef.   He has bragging rights to multiple restaurants around the globe, cookbooks, and as a permanent Iron Chef on Iron Chef Thailand.  And that barely scratches the surface. Chef Ian Kittichai didn’t start out with dreams of chef stardom, in fact, being a chef was the last thing he wanted as a child.  Despite aspirations of studying English, Charlermkittichai was recruited into the restaurant world while working part time at the Waldorf Hotel in London.  He’s worked everywhere from George V in Paris to El Bulli in Spain and The French Laundry in Napa.  A lifetime later, he remains in the kitchen, experimenting with traditional Thai recipes at Ember Room in New York City, turning out cookbooks, and...

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Q & A With Azure & La Promenade’s Alain Allegretti

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

How does Alain Allegretti juggle restaurants in two different states?  “I gave up sleeping,” he explains.  But don’t expect this handsome chef to give up his golf game or sex.  Alain Allegretti has a lot on his plate right now, with the opening of his new restaurant, Azure, in Atlantic City, along with his flagship restaurant, La Promenade de Anglais, but he’s taking it all in stride with no plans to slow down any time soon.  That’s a good thing because he’s one of the most talented, young French chefs in the country. Allegretti first arrived on the New York dining scene in 2001, after honing his culinary skills in France – Restaurant Le Chantecler, Chez Chapel, and Restaurant Le Louis XV to name a few.  And it wasn’t long before Allegretti was running his own eponymous restaurant, Allegretti,...

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Q&A With Molyvos’s Jim Botsacos

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Fifteen years is a long time for a restaurant to survive in New York City.  And it’s even longer for a chef to stay in the same kitchen (nevermind boast a 17-year marriage!). But Jim Botsacos has managed to keep midtown Greek,  Molyvos, relevant for over a decade.  With a brand new makeover and a new menu, Molyvos is better than ever.  When asked if he ever worries about being down the block from Mylos, he explains, “No – sometimes, having two Greek restaurants in a close proximity can be a good thing.  It brings people to the area for Greek cuisine and it can work to our advantage.” Besides, Botsacos has another restaurant of his own just down the block, except his second  eatery, Abbocato, is Italian.  If you’ve ever wondered whether where his heart truly lies, with Greek or...

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Q & A with No Kitchen Required’s Michael Psilakis

Posted on May 3, 2012 in Chef Q&A

Michael Psilakis is a fighter.  Plenty of chefs have their ups and downs, but few bounce back as well as Psilakis has done over the years.   Just look at his career: He elevated Greek to a haute plane with Anthos, earning a Michelin star in the process, and cooking at the White House. He parted ways with Anthos and Mia Dona and his partner Donatella Arpaia, and soon after both restaurants closed.  Psilakis then opened a short-lived spot called Gus & Gabriel, which became Fishtag, and Kefi. He’s having his moment in the spotlight once again. After opening MP Taverna, a Greek family-style restaurant in Roslyn, to rave reviews, he’s decided to open two more MP Taverna outposts this summer in Irvington and Astoria.  Psilakis also has a newfound television career,  competing on this season’s No Kitchen Required, a new BBC America show...

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