Market Watch: Mas (farmhouse) and Almanac Chef Galen Zamarra Tracks the Seasons

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Courtesy Almanac
When Galen Zamarra first opened Mas (farmhouse) (39 Downing Street, 212-255-1790) in 2004, he dreamed of building a menu with locally sourced ingredients. At the time, though, it wasn't so easy. "There was no infrastructure for a local food system then," he says. "The Greenmarket's been around for a long time, but the Greenmarket can be pretty limited. Even local dairy — the fact that you can get it on a restaurant level is pretty new."

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Handle With Care: Bill Telepan's Success Has Been in Building Community

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Nadine Anderson courtesy Telepan
When I ask Bill Telepan what he'd like his legacy to be, he gets uncharacteristically bashful. "I suppose I'm honored to even be asked that question," says the chef, punctuating the admission with a much more typically enthusiastic, barking laugh. "I guess it would be that I'm someone who gave a shit," he answers.

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Is Fun Dining Dead? Do or Dine's Chefs Ponder the End of Absurdity in NYC Restaurants

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Courtesy Do or Dine
Do or Dine co-chefs Justin Warner, left, and George McNeese
When it comes to the New York City restaurant industry right now, "Comfort is king," says Do or Dine (1108 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-684-2290) co-chef Justin Warner. "Two or three years ago, I would have said fun is king. But the highest-rated food in Brooklyn right now is Chuko Ramen. It's comforting."

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Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao Fame Is Planning a Late-Night Noodle Spot in Brooklyn

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Justine Dungo, courtesy Pig & Khao
When Pig & Khao (68 Clinton Street, 212-920-4485) chef Leah Cohen left for her first research trip to Asia, she worried that she was catching the end of the Asian food trend. "Right before I left for Asia, that's when a lot of Southeast Asian and pan-Asian restaurants were blowing up," she says. "It's never good to be on a tail end of a trend. You want to be before the curve. I was worried when I got back that I had missed my opportunity."

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This Year's Dish: What Chefs Talked About in 2014

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Bradley Hawks for the Village Voice
Vegetable-forward dishes, like this carrots wellington from Narcissa, were at the forefront.
How will history remember 2014 when it comes to New York City dining? As we look back at a year's worth of interviews with some of the industry's best chefs and restaurateurs, we notice a few trends.

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Forged in Fire: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's John Stage Looks Back on 10 Years in Harlem

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Brent Herrig Photography
It's been 10 years since John Stage opened the first New York City location of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (700 West 125th Street, 212-694-1777) in a stretch of Harlem that was then home to a meatpacking district and auto body shops. In that time, he's watched the neighborhood transform "tremendously," to use his word, as developers snatched up real estate around 125th Street and began building modern high-rises. He's also kept his Syracuse restaurant going (that one is 25 years old) and launched Brooklyn, Stamford, and Newark restaurants, and he currently has a Chicago space in the works, too.

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Game Changer: How Thomas Chen Got Tuome Really Cooking

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Noah Fecks
Since Thomas Chen opened Tuome (536 East 5th Street, 646-833-7811) in the East Village earlier this year, he's been praised nearly constantly for his ability to take the same ingredients diners see at New American restaurants across the city and make them into something exciting and unique. This capability is what earned him, and Tuome, the title of Best New Restaurant in our Best of NYC 2014. But to Chen, he fits in quite squarely with a lot of chefs in this city who are making a go of opening extremely personal restaurants. "People are doing more uncommon things than they used to," he says. "They're exploring different kinds of ingredients and what they can do with different types of cuisines. That's why a lot of people call themselves New American -- there's no real definition. It's innovative food that's different than everything else. Like here, I use Asian ingredients, but not ingredients that are commonly used in Chinese cuisine. I create dishes that make sense but do not have classification."

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How Chef Brad Farmerie Helped Build a Restaurant Empire

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Courtesy AvroKO
Brad Farmerie has arranged himself neatly into a booth at Saxon + Parole (316 Bowery), an easy smile across his handsome face, as he talks about the keys to his success in the restaurant industry in New York, a town he'd never cooked in before he came here to help his brother, Adam, a partner at design firm/restaurant group AvroKO, open Public (210 Elizabeth Street, 212-343-7011) in Nolita 11 years ago. We're nearly finished with our conversation when he begins talking about how he eats at home: vegetarian, mostly, not for moral reasons, but for health and ease.

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Fung Tu's Jonathan Wu Reflects on a Year of Restaurant Ownership

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Paul Wagtouicz
Glance over the current menu at Fung Tu (22 Orchard Street, 212-219-8785) and it may be hard to wrap your mind around what you're about to eat. Dishes have a Chinese touchstone -- you'll spy fried rice and scallion pancake, duck with plum sauce and a whole steamed fish. But they also incorporate ingredients from all over the global and cultural spectrum: brisket in that rice, a chicken spaetzle served with Sichuan pork sauce, and shrimp toast dotted with trout roe.

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For Franny's Owners, It's Time to Talk Restaurant Economics

Categories: Chef Interviews

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©John von Pamer
Start talking about the rise of farm-to-table cooking in New York City, and it won't be long before someone brings up Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, the married couple who opened Franny's (348 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-230-0221) more than a decade ago. The couple met at Savoy, Peter Hoffman's now-closed Soho temple of greenmarket cooking, where they discovered a mutual love for Italian food and dovetailing perspectives on sustainable agriculture.

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