Buvette's Jody Williams: "I Don't Like Any Label"

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Gentl & Hyers
Walk into Buvette (42 Grove Street, 212-255-3590) during the throes of its dinner service, and your best bet is to surrender yourself to its rhythm. You will not find the icy hostess who guards the threshold of most New York restaurants, keeping a hold of the table turns and reservation book. You'll likely feel like you're in the way as you scan the room for a seat, and once you find one, you'll very likely be sharing elbow room with a stranger. It is exactly how chef-owner Jody Williams intended it, and so long as you're able to give up formal dining's rigid rules for a night, you'll probably have a great time.

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La Newyorkina Founder Fany Gerson: "I'm The Anti-Pastry Pastry Chef"

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While most of her contemporaries were concerned with opening a restaurant, pastry chef Fany Gerson had another goal. "Most friends and colleagues I have in the industry had dreams of having their own business," she says. "Mine was to write a cookbook." The Mexico City native and Culinary Institute of America graduate did just that in 2010 with My Sweet Mexico, an ode to the sweet offerings of her upbringing. That same year, she debuted La Newyorkina at the Hester Street Fair, where she began selling a selection of paletas, Mexico's frozen, on-the-go treat that would become her calling card and the focus and namesake of her second book, released just one year later.


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Trailblazer 2.0: Danny Amend Pushes Marco's as He Did Franny's

Categories: Chef Interviews

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John von Pamer
You can thank Franny's for the proliferation of the Brooklyn-themed restaurant over the last decade: The Prospect Heights pizzeria was one of the first to espouse a farm-to-table ethos in the borough, and it drew legions of fans from across the city as a result.

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Chef Einat Admony Is Sick of the Bull Sh*t Hype

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Ania Gruca
When Einat Admony and her husband Stefan Nafziger first opened the doors to their West Village falafel shop, Taïm (222 Waverly Place, 212-691-1287), in 2007, Admony didn't feel proud. "I was a little ashamed," she admits. "I was at a really nice restaurant before Taïm, and to open a falafel restaurant, especially for an Israeli, felt a little shameful." That didn't last long -- the couple took a simple street food item and made it into something truly special, and after a bit of a rocky start, Taïm became a beloved neighborhood staple and a great springboard for Balaboosta (214 Mulberry Street, 212-966-7366), the "real restaurant" the pair opened in 2011, and modern Israeli eatery Bar Bolonat (611 Hudson Street), which opened last week.

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ICC Pastry Arts Director Jansen Chan Wants To Do Away With "Palate Fatigue"

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Growing up with a father who relished baking gave pastry chef Jansen Chan the foundation needed for what would eventually become his own lifelong passion. "I never really thought baking was the thing for me," he explains. "I always just enjoyed it because it was something we did at home, and it was relaxing and fun."

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For Great Macarons, Says Thomas Keller Pastry Chef Sebastien Rouxel, Respect the Craft

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Deborah Jones
Macarons from Bouchon Bakery
Thomas Keller Restaurant Group executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel received an early introduction to the culinary realm. "My aunt used to own a restaurant, so I spent a lot of time there," he explains. "I was very attracted to the environment and felt comfortable there." At 16 years old, he took on a pre-apprenticeship at Les Jardins de la Forge in Champtoceaux before landing a pastry chef role at age 20 at Mess De L'Elysée, where he served France's president.

A move to the United States and a couple of bicoastal restaurant experiences (L'Orangerie in L.A. and Lutèce in New York) led him to The French Laundry, where he spent five years as a pastry chef before moving to New York for the opening of Per Se. In addition to overseeing the pastry program at all of Thomas Keller's restaurants, Rouxel manages the retail offerings at all of the Bouchon Bakery (10 Columbus Circle #3, 212-823-9363) outposts -- right down to the macarons. In honor of Macaron Day, we chatted with the Loire Valley native to get his thoughts on the trials, successes, and future of the colorful bite-sized pastry.

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Ten Years Into a Restaurant Empire, Marc Murphy Is Still Just Looking to Have Fun

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Courtesy Marc Murphy
In the 20 years that the Food Network has existed, it's propelled dozens of chefs to stardom before they've proved themselves in their own kitchens. Despite his prolific career on television, Marc Murphy is not one of those chefs. The Chopped judge has risen steadily within New York's restaurants for two decades -- even while, he insists, his only goal was to have a good time -- and he now sits atop a restaurant empire, an outgrowth of Tribeca's Landmarc (179 West Broadway, 212-343-3883), which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

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The Clam's Mike Price: Why Restaurants Celebrating One Ingredient Are Evolving Away From Fast Casual

Categories: Chef Interviews

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All images by Jon Selvey
New York has seen a slew of single-item restaurants open in the past few years, but perhaps none as refined as The Clam (420 Hudson Street, 212-242-8420), a West Village spot that celebrates its namesake shellfish in a sleek dining room rather than the fast casual digs normally devoted to this type of concept. The place comes from Joey Campanaro and chef Mike Price, who also partner together on another West Village spot, Market Table (54 Carmine Street, 212-255-2100) (Campanaro also owns the Little Owl in the same neighborhood).

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Why JBF Award Winner Nate Appleman Has Never Looked Back From Chipotle

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Courtesy Chipotle
Nate Appleman was bent on becoming a chef from an early age, and so after high school, he packed his knives off to the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park to learn the craft. When he graduated, he spent the tail end of the '90s and the first few years of this millennium learning butchery in Italy and working his way through restaurants in Seattle and Napa Valley. In 2003, he landed a sous chef job at San Francisco's prolific A16, and he climbed the ranks quickly at the pizza restaurant, eventually becoming a partner and executive chef, a trajectory that earned him the coveted Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundation in 2009.

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Morimoto Pastry Chef Michelle Kogan's Desserts Pack Fermented Flavors

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It was pastry chef Michelle Kogan's culinary-inclined grandmothers and her stepmother's "over-the-top" cooking that instilled in her an early admiration for restaurants. "It was as if we were in a restaurant at home, which really made me want to be in a restaurant even more," she explains.

After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, she staged at a number of highly acclaimed New York restaurants -- including Jean Georges, Del Posto, and the Modern -- before landing a pastry sous chef position at Nobu 57, where she stayed for four years. It was there, under the guidance of executive pastry chef Gabriele Riva, that Kogan developed a heightened appreciation for Japanese cuisine and ingredients. "He is the person I pretty much owe everything to," Kogan says. "He hand trained me and invested a lot of his time into the process."

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