Chef’s Choice – What Do the Pros Like to Eat?

When you dine out and are impressed by the dishes you are served, do you ever wonder what the chef enjoys eating? When we asked fourteen of New York City’s well-known, talented chefs what their favorite meal is, there were some really interesting answers and ones that might make you hungry! 

Chef Lamia Funti of Lamia’s Fish Market on the Lower East Side: “I love making paella, especially for a big group of people by a pool or garden. I also love making risotto since they are so versatile and are just a happy dish for me. I love cooking seafood. My favorite way of cooking fish is salt-baked because you don’t need to add much to the fish. It’s the best way to eat it for seafood lovers since it keeps all the moisture and preserves the taste of the ocean.”

Chef Bong Le Jo of 8282 on the Lower East Side: “My favorite meal is a home-cooked Korean meal, with an assortment of vegetables, seafood, and soup. As I grow older, my appreciation for authentic Korean food has grown tremendously and I wish to bring this out at our restaurant.”

Chef Romeo Regalli of Ras Plant Based Ethiopian Cuisine Crown Heights Brooklyn: “My favorite dish to have on the menu is the Ras Kitfo. Kitfo is traditionally a steak tartare. We have veganized it using a soy protein crumble and traditional spices. I love putting an avocado salad right on top of delicious!”

Chef Jonghun Won of Pavé in Midtown: “I love braised beef short rib (Korean-style marinated in soy sauce), but also love any Italian food that utilizes fresh ingredients.”

Executive Chef Alessio Rossetti of The Oval at La Devozione in Chelsea Market: “Spaghetti Pomodoro, fish ceviche, and Sfogliatella Riccia.”

Tino Procaccini of Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. in NJ AND NYC: “I am a huge CARBivore, as you can tell by the looks of my stomach. I absolutely love pasta, pizza, and bread. Any of these are my death row go-to’s. I can’t say I have a specific dish although, at Tino’s, we do little twists like creating pizzas from typical, traditional pasta dishes. One example is our Amatriciana pizza which is a very traditional pasta dish from the Amatrice area of Italy. Another is our cacio e pepe pizza which is a very traditional pasta dish from Rome. When our guests try it they can’t believe how amazing they are in pizza form.”

Chef/Owner Eric McCree of Filé Gumbo Bar: “Grilled pork chops and stewed cabbage with cornbread. My mom would make it for me and it just reminds me of home.”

Chef Michael Cressotti, Corporate Executive Chef of The Mermaid Inn: “Korean BBQ, over “live” charcoal, not of the gas stuff……and good Mexican food would be a close second.”

Executive Chef Mark Zuckerman Harta at Grayson Hotel: “Something that was always a special occasion, and a memorable favorite is my mother’s chicken parm.”

Chef/Owner Adam Schop of Steak Frites Bistro in Hell’s Kitchen: “My favorite meals are Peking duck with Chinese pancakes and hoisin, and also prime rib with French fries; pretty basic I guess!”

Chef Santiago Astudillo of The Wesley in the West Village: “My favorite meal is homemade stew with rice. It reminds me of when I was younger and my mom and grandma. Gently simmer meat or veggies that slow cook creating a delicious sauce, and served with rice to soak up all that deliciousness. Another favorite is ceviche, because it’s just so refreshing. The combination of the chilies, onions, cilantro and lime is something I love so much.”

Chef Miguel Molina of La Pulperia in Hell’s Kitchen: “I love Korean, seafood, and my street tacos but what I miss the most are my mother and grandma’s meals.”

Chinese Master Chef Guo Wenjun of Chef Guo in Midtown East: “As long as the meal or meals are recognized and appreciated by our diners, they are my favorites.”

Chef-Partner Rodrigo Abrajan of CASA TuLuM at South Street Seaport: “In first place would be Mexican and then in second is Italian. Us Mexicans have an immense ethnic culture from south to north, I can say from the Yucatán Peninsula up to Baja California make up one of the most unique cuisines in the world; every region having their own touch.”

Top photo: Bigstock

About Marina P. Kennedy (152 Articles)
Marina Kennedy began her writing career when her four children were grown and she returned to college to study in the humanities. She is delighted to be a contributor for Woman Around Town. The majority of her articles focus on the culinary scene, theatre, and travel. Marina and her husband Chuck enjoy the rich cultural experiences of the New York metro area and beyond. She hopes that readers like reading her articles as much as she enjoys writing them.