Betony's Bryce Shuman: "I Don't Want Anything on the Menu I'm Not Thrilled About"
I really love great Chinese food and great spicy Thai food, so to see restaurants like Mission and Uncle Boons and Pok Pok open and be so delicious and spicy, I'm just amazed by it. But what's next? I have no idea.
What's your local bar or restaurant?
Home with my wife. Or the NoMad. The bar is awesome, the food's delicious, and it's fun--it never feels stuffy or pretentious; it's always cool.
What's the most underrated restaurant in New York City?
Eamon took me to this spicy Thai restaurant called Zabb Elee. Also this Chinese restaurant on Second Avenue in the Upper East Side called Wa Jeal. It was the weirdest neighborhood for an amazing Sichuan restaurant, and it is so frickin' good. The tongue and tripe served cold with the spicy sauce? Forget about it.
Who's the most underrated culinary figure in New York City?
Angela Pinkerton, the pastry chef at EMP, and Abram Bissell, the chef at the NoMad. It's still chef Humm's vision, but Abram is an amazing chef, and Angela is brilliant. They inspire me all the time. They're so talented, and they deserve credit.
At what New York restaurant do you celebrate a special night out?
I really like going to Franny's in Brooklyn. I used to live over in Prospect Heights. It's so fun, friendly, and warm, and everything's so tasty and delicious. Torrisi, too. And I would like to try all the new spots that have opened recently, like Carbone and Costata.
What would you like to see more of in the New York culinary scene?
I'm still learning so much about the New York culinary scene, and I feel like I'm seeing something new every day. I'm very concerned about relationships--I really like it when community-minded chefs come together to support farmers or hunger causes or the farmers' market or the CSA. It's not a new concept, but I love to see it when it happens.
What do you wish would go away?
Dishonest cooking. I can't single anyone out, and every chef has a bad night sometimes. But I really hate it when I go out somewhere very expensive and pay a lot of money and feel like I wasn't served fresh ingredients, or there wasn't care shown in the prep, or people weren't paying attention or caring for me as a diner. I hate feeling like I got robbed.
Check this space tomorrow for part two of my interview with Shuman.