Executive Chefs take great pride in presenting us with their finest creations when we dine. But do you ever wonder what their favorite dishes are? I had the pleasure of interviewing a number of chefs and rounded up answers that may surprise you!
Isla in the heart of Midtown – Chef David Taylor stated, “My favorite meals change from time to time but I love Japanese food. When I was very young my mother was still in school and I was looked after quite a bit by a Japanese family in our neighborhood. I learned later on that if you eat a specific type of food a lot between the ages six to ten it can become your comfort food for the rest of your life. When I was working in Japan, the smell of all the small food stalls took me back to my best friend’s house.”
MIFUNE New York in Midtown East – Chef Tomohiro Urata likes Japanese tonkotsu ramen.
Cathédrale at the Moxy in the East Village – Chef Jason Hall said, “Breakfast is my favorite meal, or anything I don’t have to cook.”
Amor Loco New York in Times Square – Chef Gustavo Mendez stated, “As a chef, I don’t have a specific favorite dish. Any foods I prepare myself (including Mexican, American, and many other cuisines!) are my favorite because I not only get to showcase my expertise, but also get to enjoy the process of cooking it myself.”
Disset Chocolate, 28080 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY – Chef Ursula XVII commented, “I love when sweet and salty come together – like `stinky cheese’ with jam! There’s also the classic melon with Jamón. Even when I make pancakes at home, I finish them off with a touch of some beautiful finishing salt! Personally, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and so we try to keep a delicate balance in our products – nothing is just pure sweet.”
NSA Noodle Bar in Brooklyn – Chef Brooke Apfelbaum commented, “My favorite meal is pasta, specifically agnolotti. It is sort of like ravioli, but a little fluffier and more pillow-y.”
KUMI at Le Meridien on Central Park South – Chef Anastacia Song said, “My favorite meal is a really good seafood boil. Fresh seafood, cooked with wonderfully fragrant seasonings, eaten with your hands.”
KOYO in Astoria, Queens – Chef Jay Zheng stated, “My favorite thing to eat is just simple steamed live crabs. Growing up in a fishing village, where money was a scarcity, just about every single housed raised some sort of livestock, grew vegetables or went fishing. Living by the water in a tropical climate, crabs were abundant. As a child, I would go catch river crabs in the shallow water or mud crabs in the rice patty fields. For most of our family meals, as meats were expensive and not very common, eating crabs became a daily tradition, especially during peak summer season.”
L’Artista in Hamilton Heights – Chef German Rizzo’s favorites are raw fish, risotto, and grilled meat or fish.
The Essex Restaurant in Old Saybrook, Ct. – Chef Colt Taylor said, “Really incredible fresh baked bread and salted butter wins every time. (Yes, as a meal!) But in the past few years, I’ve tried to answer the question as it’s asked… often. Simply put, it all depends on everything around me. The environment, the temperature, the company. I love tuna or salmon poke, obsess over it, but i don’t want it in a snowstorm. Likewise, a good bowl of ramen stands out above most (kotteri style tonkatsu), but I’m not looking for that in July. So I always come back to the one meal I will always crave. Fresh baked amazing bread and butter with sea salt.”
Jungsik New York in Tribeca – Director of New York Operations Suyoung Park commented, “The meals my mother cooked for my family when I was growing up have always been my favorite.”
Top photo: Bigstock