Coppelia's Pichet Ong Reveals Plans for a New Thai Restaurant and Explains Why He Has Awesome Aprons
Melissa Hom Pichet Ong, master of international desserts
Pichet Ong is a busy man, lending his culinary cred to restaurants all over town. His most recent venture is creating the pastry options at Coppelia (207 West 14th Street, 212-858-5001), Julian Medina's new Cuban restaurant in Chelsea. So we called Ong up to learn more about giving up durian for dulce de leche.
What are you up to these days? You just landed a gig at Coppelia, right?
I'm doing a lot of consulting. I consulted for Max Brenner and his projects. And I did Chozen, the kosher ice cream company, and then after that Coppelia. I'm opening a Thai restaurant this summer and have a kosher bakery and a brasserie coming up.
Wow. That's a lot. Do you just write the menu, or do you work in the kitchen?
I'll make the desserts and do the menu. Usually I'm in the kitchen working the line and doing operational training and media anything and then as time goes on, things change.
You hold a master's in architecture. Has that influenced your viewpoint as a chef?
I've always had an eye for design. Not so much in height but for visual color and shapes. I don't think of dessert in terms of architecture but aesthetics. And you know, I design a lot of my own outfits and shirts.
Really? Do you design them or sew them, too?
I make the first one myself and then I have them sent out.
Do you have a favorite one?
The one I'm wearing now. Are you on Facebook right now? You can see it there. [Ed. note -- Pictured on the right.]