Morimoto Executive Sous Chef Matt Hudack Won't Be Singing Any Iron Chef Duets

Categories: Know Your Sous

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Morimoto
As the executive sous chef of Masaharu Morimoto's glitzy, eponymous restaurant Morimoto (88 10th Avenue, 212-989-8883), Matt Hudack builds on the knowledge he's gained throughout his career, never missing an opportunity to learn new things. Here he discusses chef's schedules, the mentors who've shaped his cooking, and why you won't be seeing him challenging Morimoto to any karaoke battles.

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Distilled's Jennifer Walsh on Strong Female Mentors, Post-Shift Rituals and Ditching Microscopes for Tweezers

Categories: Know Your Sous

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Jennifer Walsh

At Distilled (211 West Broadway, 212-601-9514) in Tribeca, chef Shane Lyons cooks a menu of inspired New American pub food from a gorgeous space in a landmark building. When the kitchen's cranking out plates of fried duck over waffles and the restaurant's signature gochujang-slathered wings, Lyons counts on sous chef Jennifer Walsh to help steer the kitchen to victory.


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Annisa Sous Mary Attea: "I'm Sort of Just Enjoying the Ride"

Categories: Know Your Sous

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Sous chef Mary Attea works at Annisa (13 Barrow Street, 212-741-6699), Anita Lo's sexy Barrow Street culinary haven, where she's contributed dishes like steak tartare and saddle of rabbit to the innovative menu. Here, she opens up about admiring Anita Lo's modesty, her favorite drunk snack, and how much she likes it when the kitchen FTMFB (abbreviated: fires the motherf---ing board).

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Eleven Madison Park Sous Chef Connie Chung: Understanding Someone Else's Vision Helps You Understand Your Own

Categories: Know Your Sous

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Connie Chung works on Eleven Madison Park's (11 Madison Avenue, 212-889-0905) show-stopping creations alongside Daniel Humm and a legion of other sous chefs. The 29-year-old was raised in a Chicago suburb, and she spent spent much of college ODing on food porn, so she decided to make cooking her career. Here, she talks about how understanding Humm's vision helps her understand her own, how fancy stuff can mess up a dish, and how quickly cooks eat.


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What It's Like to Be Sous Chef at DBGB

Categories: Know Your Sous

Ian Vest (left) and John Spratlin (right) working it in the DBGB kitchen
Daniel Boulud's casual downtown spot DBGB (299 Bowery, 212-933-5300) is a large restaurant that caters to large crowds, and that demands long hours from sous chefs John Spratlin and Ian Vest. Despite the constant grind, though, each likes the job. We called them on was they were prepping for a massive Mardi Gras feast, when they were busily prepping a whole hog, cornbread, collard greens, and hurricanes. We talked about what it takes to make it on the line at DBGB, why it's important to express it when you don't like a new dish, and what they'd like to do eventually, which turns out to be much different from running a big restaurant.

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Atera Sous Chef Rex Huang Gave up an IT Job for Life Behind the Burners

Categories: Know Your Sous

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Photo of Rex Huang by Ashley Hoffman
Rex Huang has a decade on most of the people in his line of work, and that's a good thing, because having less time for self-exploration keeps him focused. He left behind a career in business for the burners, getting his start in the business when he asked for one day to prove his worth as a stage at What Happens When. Now he's a sous chef under Matt Lightner at the tiny, inventive downtown restaurant Atera (77 Worth Street, 212-226-1444), where he's culling lessons he hopes to eventually apply at his own restaurant. Here, he talks about getting his start, the greenmarket, and why the restaurant industry is better than his desk job.

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Recette Sous Chef Audrey Villegas Has a Thing for Beans

Categories: Know Your Sous

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Melissa Hom
Recette sous chef Audrey Villegas likes to cook at 1 in the morning after the guests are gone. She has an edge-of-your-seat intensity when she talks about bean season; she got it from interning at Per Se when she was 24. After that, she toughed it out in the trenches at Gordon Ramsay and, briefly, Dovetail before she followed Jesse Schenker to Recette (328 West 12th Street, 212-414-3000), where she's been for more than three years. Here, she talks about how Per Se's intensity made her cry every day, how the torture at Gordon Ramsay made her stronger, and what it's like sharing one burner on a busy night at Recette.

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El Colmado Sous Chef Dina Fan Applies Japanese Lessons to Spanish Cooking

Categories: Know Your Sous

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Dina Fan was a sophomore at NYU stuck in a boring archaeology course when her aunt gave her an ultimatum: "Why don't you go to culinary school since you like food so much? I'll pay for that." Encouraged, Fan saw that ICE had a spot open, and she took it.

As a student, she interned at EN Brasserie, worked as a line cook at Ma Peche, and then helped open Tertulia. While working there, she saved up money for a six-month stint interning overseas, hopscotching around Asia before returning to New York. Now she's the sous chef at El Colmado (600 Eleventh Avenue, 212-582-7948), the Seamus Mullen tapas and wine bar in Gotham West Market.

Here, Fan discusses being the only female intern, high stakes tryouts, and how she's able to keep her head above water with 80 oyster tickets during El Colmado's happy hour.

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