Chefs@Google: Andrew Carmellini

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 27.10.2011

>> Female Interviewer: Thanks everyone for coming. It is such a pleasure to
have Chef Andrew Carmellini here at Google New York.
Welcome. >> Andrew: Good to be here. Thanks for having
me. >> Female Interviewer: I'm having this very
James Lipton moment right now. "So, tell me about your 12-year-old performance
in Annie." So Chef Carmellini has trained throughout
the great restaurants of Italy and New York from
Michelin two star San Dominico in Emilia-Romagna to
Lespinasse to Le Cirque in New York. He spent six years
at c Café Boulud winning a James Beard Award for rising star
chef of the year, and was added to Food and Wine magazine's Best
Chef roster. In his last month at Café Boulud, he was
awarded best chef New York City by the James Beard
Foundation. He then went onto open A Voce in 2006 earning
a three star review from the New York Times. His first
Michelin star and a James Beard Award nomination for Best Restaurant in
2007. And in 2008 he published his first book of recipes
and stories with his wife, Urban Italian. And his second
cookbook, American Flavor, just came out this week -- which, hopefully, you all
got in the audience. Chef Carmellini also owns two
highly-celebrated restaurants. One of my personal favorites in New York, Locanda Verde, that's
just my plug to get a table, in the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca.
>>Andrew: It works. >> Interviewer: It does work. I know. It's
all up here. And that has two stars from the New York Times and was also
nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant
in 2009.
>> Andrew: They like me. >> Interviewer: They do. What's with that
foundation? And also the Dutch in Soho and he's opening a second
location of the Dutch in just a couple of weeks. .
>> Andrew: Next month. >> Interviewer: Next month so there you go.
And he's very busy. And we're excited that you made time to come here to Google,
so thank you for that.
>> Andrew: Thanks for having me. >> Interviewer: It's a pleasure. And you obviously
have this incredible laundry list of accomplishments.
So I thought we'd just go over them one by one.
>> Andrew: No, that's sounds awful. [laughter]
>> Interviewer: Like I say, how did you get into cooking?
>> Andrew: You know I was either going to be a rock star or I was
going to be a chef. You know, in the late -- I've
started cooking when just kind of this is a little bit
cliché but I just started cooking with my mom, my grandmother.
I really liked it. In the 70s when I grew up, you know,
there was that whole health food thing going on. You
know, there was carob and wheat germ and my mom was
kind of into that. They didn't want to eat process
foods. They just liked good food. We had a garden in
the back. This was long before the word foodie existed.
There wasn't that hyper restaurant culture, chef culture
that exists today, which is great. They just wanted good food. And they
were big influences on me to get me into cooking. I was
also a musician. I was either going to go to a school of music
or I was going to go to cooking school. And I'm
not sure -- still to this day -- why I went to cooking
school besides I'm actually glad I didn't go to music
school back then because it was 1989. It was pre-Grunge
and hair was very long still. [Interviewer giggles] And I'm glad I didn't go
that route, [chuckles] because who knows what would happen today.
>> Interviewer: Was there one dish that inspired your love of food in
maybe the carob and the kale. >> No. No carob. [laughter] You know, I used
to like baking too when I was a kid just because I had a crazy
sweet tooth. And still today. That's why I'm blessed with
two amazing pastry chefs at both restaurants. That's mostly
for my own satisfaction. But you know, I just really
liked cherry pie. [chuckles] That was like you know
I grew up in the Midwest and it's kind of like that iconic.
You know it's just something very satisfying about it. That's
why Dutch that restaurant was built just for pie.
At the time no one was doing pies anymore. And so,
that was a big inspiration behind it.
>> Interviewer: So what was your inspiration for the book -- for the
new book? >> Andrew: You know the book it's not a restaurant
cookbook like Urban Italian my first cook book. I have 500
plus cook books around the world. They're not chef cookbooks
even though I'm a chef. My wife Gwen Hyman wrote
the book Urban Italian with me. That process for us
is in our New York City apartment kitchen, she is on her laptop
sitting next to me and I am in the kitchen and we make
every single recipe together. And, since she's not a chef,
she needs to measure things and she doesn't have that
kind of instinct to just kind of throw something together.
So she is making me -- she wants to make sure
that anyone can make that. Or when you make it or I make
it or someone else makes it it's going to work.
So that's kind of both books really -- they're not restaurant
cookbooks, but they tell a story of what's influenced
me over the years or just what kind of gets me cooking
really. And so, you know American flavor really is that
kind of journey of being American chef. It's a little
bit like I think chefs born in America are kind of afraid
to use that word like I'm American chef. It's a little
bit of -- I don't know it's not flattering in
some ways or I think.
>> Interviewer: Why do you think that. >>Andrew: I don't know. I just think that
American cooking -- we're not blessed with thousand years of history
like France or China in that term. And so American
cooking -- I think American cooking now -- the modern
kind of look at it -- it's a combination of all this kind
of root-inspired cooking. It's kind of like what
your grandmother was cooking, what my grandmother
was cooking but not mixed.
>> Interviewer: [chuckling] Probably not what my grandmother was cooking.
>> Andrew: What was that actually? >> Interviewer: She wasn't doing a lot of
the cooking probably. That's part of it. I think her daughter-in-law
including my mother were probably doing it. It was Indian
stuff but in India so not in America.
>>Andrew: But still that influence with your cooking at home
that's what? >> Interviewer: It's Italian food. But I'm
Indian. I know, it doesn't make any sense.
>>Andrew: My grandmother was Italian, but she.
>> Interviewer: Made Indian food? That would be weird.
>>Andrew: That would be really strange. They were in Miami in
the 30s, 40s and 50s and Miami back then was a southern
town. It was kind of like Mobile, Alabama more than it
is kind of the Miami today. And so, they would -- you
know, she was Italian, but she eventually was cooking up
until she passed away on New Year's Eve she would cook
beans and black-eyed peas and she would cook biscuits and
she would make pies. And so, you know, we have that kind
of -- both those things going on at the same time.
>>Interviewer: Yeah, my mother would make Indian food with oregano
which is not a traditional Indian spice. >> Andrew: Interesting. Like dahl with oregano.
>> Interviewer: They didn't get all the spices here.
>> Andrew: It's very fusion. >> Interviewer: She was fusion before fusion
was fusion. >> Andrew: She's a really trend setter.
>> Interviewer: Yeah, she was a foodie back then. [chuckles] And so, about the
book, what's your favorite recipe in the book or do you
have a favorite recipe. >> Andrew: Kind of like the menus at both
restaurants, I like to have something for everybody. And so, it kind
of just depends what you're in the mood for really.
You know, so it could be something like there's a lot of
vegetables inside the book, but there's also what I would
say is like a ridiculous over the top American dish
which is -- it's a barbecued meatloaf that has macaroni
and cheese stuffed inside it [laughter].
>> Interviewer: That sounds awesome. >> Andrew: Which is like.
>> Interviewer: That's so wrong, it's right. >> Andrew: It's one of those dishes that's
like so wrong it's right. So I have -- you know, there's a dish
of organic red quinoa with wild rice and pecans and some
other stuff and then there's also.
>> Interviewer: Whiskey I believe is in there. >> Andrew: Whiskey. It's healthy and not healthy
at the same time because it's all about balance. But I
don't know -- the meatloaf thing is fun because it's kind
of a cool thing you can totally do at home and then
bring it to the table and cut it and people are going to be like,
"Whoa!" >> Interviewer: "What's happening?" So what's
the technique? You know, you just kind of make the macaroni then
you roll it into kind of like log and then put it in the
freezer and then you make your meatloaf and then you take
out the frozen log and you kind of wrap it around
it. You bake it you glaze it with this homemade barbecue
sauce and it has some other stuff in it too, but it works
out with the temperature of the macaroni and cheese just
oozes out perfectly as the meatloaf is cooked.
>>Interviewer: That sounds so good; I'm really hungry. I know I should not have skipped breakfast
this morning. >> Andrew: It's kind of like molecular gastronomy
with no chemicals. It's just about temperature.
>> Interviewer: That's awesome. And so, obviously we're here in New
York. And you mentioned your tiny New York kitchen which
many of us share that challenge. What do you recommend
from the book is easy enough to make in a tiny New York
kitchen? Can you make meatloaf stuffed with macaroni and
cheese? >> Andrew: Again, I made everything in my
kitchen and so I tried to like maybe -- I remember with Urban Italian,
my first book, I'm fortunate enough at the restaurant
that I don't have to do dishes anymore. When I first started
in the restaurant business, I was definitely washing
dishes. And you have to remember that when you're a chef
for a lot of years it was always -- I was cooking at home
and it was 15 pots. You want to do this you want to do
that. We try to make with the home versions of everything,
I try to do everything with one or two pots or one
pot and a pan you know so you don't have to -- that's
the worst you make the whole dinner and you have to deal
with the clean up afterwards.
>>Interviewer: That's what my husband's for >>Andrew: Clean up as you go. It's really
important. >> Interviewer: Clean up as you go. Or have
a husband who will do dishes who's so particular about cleanliness.
>> Andrew: You're very gendered about these things.
>> Interviewer: That's true, because I do the cooking and he does the
cleaning. It's a good division of labor. Sometimes cooking involves ordering
>> Andrew: That's good. I would take that role if you cooked for
me every night. >> Interviewer: Or order. I can call up with
the best of them. Tell us more about the restaurants speaking about
those. Locanda Verde and The Dutch; how did they come about? --
>> Andrew: Locanda Verde is -- originally I was going to open up
a little pasta bar on Tenth Street between Second and
Third. And Bob DeNiro has the Greenwich Hotel and they were having some problems there with
the restaurant there And I started talking to them
about doing something there and that's kind of how
Locanda came to be. And I just wanted like Locanda Verde
and the Dutch really. Because for a long time I did
really high-end French and Italian food uptown and it was
great and I like that to be able to give people that
experience but I always lived downtown but I was always
working uptown. And I just -- you know, for me in my
ripe old age of 35 when I did Locanda Verde, I just
wanted restaurant, a corner New York City restaurant you
could stop by any time of day. And that's kind of the
spirit at both places, but one's Italian and one's American.
And just that sense you can come at noon and get a bowl
of pasta and a glass of wine and split or you can come on
Saturday night with your wife or friends or whoever and
go crazy or you can just stop by at 6 with clients. I
like that idea restaurants have -- it's like a tie to
the community and just becomes all day kind of, you know,
just serves like a lot of different needs. And it brings
like the crazy energy to it also. You know, just kind of
get an eclectic group of people dining there for
different reasons and that's what I wanted to do at both
restaurants. >>Interviewer: Do you think you could not
have done that same restaurant in a different location like what
was special about -- apart from.
>> Andrew: It's funny because one restaurant the Dutch is in Soho
and Locanda Verde is in Tribeca. Tribeca is so different
from Soho. And I didn't even realize that. Didn't even
notice the difference really until I opened up the Dutch and
you just saw the people that were walking by and just saw
kind of the cycle and the rhythm of the neighborhood. And that, you know, it's neighborhood but
it's also destination. So like to have both those things
going on. >> Interviewer: Right. Cool. So couple of
off topic questions. What do you eat when no one else is looking.
>> Andrew: What do I eat when no one else is looking. I am not
embarrassed by any foods. >> Interviewer: It's got to be something.
Something that gives you pleasure something you don't want to tell
your chef friends.
>> Andrew: What do I eat when I'm not cooking? I don't know. I would happily eat like a Twix
bar right now if you wanted.
>> Interviewer: Like a challenge? [laughter] Does anyone have one? I don't
think we have them. >> Andrew: I don't know. I think even if you're
working at a three star Michelin restaurant or you're cooking,
you know, whatever you're doing really I think
you have you know I think there's no -- it doesn't matter
if it's a Twix bar or it's a chocolate soufflé For me it's
the same really. It's the same emotional response.
>> Interviewer: So what do you eat from the walk in?
>> Andrew: What do I eat from the walk in? These days I try to
eat an apple once in awhile. >> Interviewer: Very healthy.
>> Andrew: Just try to --. Eat an apple and stay away from -- you know, because
I'll probably have a slice of steak upstairs, I'll have a piece of this and I'll eat
an apple. Winesaps are very good right now. >> Interviewer: What are they?
>> Andrew: Winesap >> Interviewer: What's a wine sap?
>> Andrew: It's a variety of apple. Comes from upstate.
>> Interviewer: Oh, it's a type of apple. >> Andrew: Very good eating apples.
>> Interviewer: As opposed to what apples? >> Andrew: Cooking apple -- as one you can
just pick up or you can bake, theres a big difference. Apples
are not apples. >> Interviewer: Ah. Did not know that.
[laughter] >> Interviewer: Just complicated my trip to
the farmer's market measurably. Is there any culinary mountain
that you want to climb? Like something you've always wanted
to do? >>Andrew: Culinary mountain. You know, I'd
like to to do a French restaurant one day. You know, French
food kind of like -- American food -- the idea of American
food it's just like especially French because it's a
little bit out of fashion a little bit. And I kind of want
-- I love, I mean France it's such an amazing culinary
journey really in all the different regions. And I kind of
want to revisit that and do that one day. Probably
not on a super high-end level. Probably approachable
level. But I want to kind of get back to the country that
first kind of inspired me with cooking which is France
at first even before Italy. And so, yeah I would like to
do something French.
>> Interviewer: All right. Are there any unexpected influences in
your cuisine? >> Andrew: You know for example there's an
Indian technique called tarka where you kind of will heat up
ghee and then kind of bloom spices in it. Sometimes mustard
seeds and it's interesting to take like that technique
and apply it to a sauce from someone else or some other
kind of country but it's not fusion necessarily. So
for example, if you were to make like a 'sauce mutard'
or a mustard sauce typical with fish or meat. In French
cooking, you -- the way to approach that really is,
you take that technique of tarka and taking mustard seeds
and kind of blooming them a little bit and making them
pop. And then, doing that with maybe a French sauce.
So you're not really again it's not fusion in the sense
you're mixing curry powder with mustard with, you
know, some kind of French preparation. It's more like
taking this particular technique and applying to a sauce
and making it even better even though it comes from another
culture which is kind of interesting. For example,
like the French sauce you might have your glace de
viande and you might add some reduced cream to it and finish it with
Dijon mustard. Here you can take the tarka and make
those mustard seeds pop in the hot ghee. We might
not use hot ghee for that sauce. We might just use butter.
And then add your glace de viande . So I look at food that
way sometimes. In the balance sweet and sour in Thai food or
Vietnamese food. You can apply to Italian food. Not that
you can use fish sauce in Italian food but just balsamic
vinegar and olive oil. I kind of look for parallels
that way. >> Interviewer: What challenges you?
>> Andrew: People. [laughter]
>>Interviewer: Like right now? >> Andrew: Actually, a person made me happy
today because in an e-mail exchange last year with someone that
had a very nice meal at Locanda Verde and was telling
me about limoncello that someone in their family made. A nice
gentleman brought me some of that homemade limoncello.
>>Interviewer: Is that that? >>Andrew: Yes, this is that. This is not Orangina;
this is limoncello. >> Interviewer: You're just going to pound
it? >> Andrew: I can tell you from experience
that it's not a good idea.
>> Interviewer: It's not a good idea; I can tell you from experience too.[giggles]
>> Andrew: There was a experience in Umbria once that it's not a good idea
to chug Limoncello. It's for sipping purposes only.
>> Interviewer: So you just have that in case. >> Andrew: This is my prop if things get crazy.
>> [laughter]. >> Interviewer: Just bust it open if this
isn't going well. So you already told me you'd be a rock star. What
would you play?
>> Andrew: Well, that's changed since 1988. If I would have a
band today? You know, I have a studio at my house. I
have everything from vintage keyboards to MPC players and vinyl --. I
started as a guitarist but I fallen in love with hip hop and
trip hops and beats. That's where I spend all my money
and time. ]>> Interviewer: So you'd be like a rap star?
[laughter[ >> Andrew: No, absolutely not. I'm an awful,
awful, awful rapper. >> Interviewer: I'm totally going to make
you do one at the end. >> Andrew: I'm a very bad rapper. I'm all
about the music part. Don't ask me to rhyme . I can
barely spell. >> Interviewer: I'm not I'm going to left
you off the hook only because I want that table. What is the best
meal you've ever had?
>> Andrew: You know, the best meal I've ever had -- you know,
it's such a tough question, because I've had a lot of
great meals. I'm very fortunate to have a lot of great
meals. I think the best meal you ever have it's on
different planes really. You can say I went to ElBulli four
times and those were the. >> Interviewer: You did? You went to ElBulli
>> Andrew: I can say I went to elbulli four times but I did not.
I went three times. [laughter] .
>> Andrew: I went actually in the early 90s kind of before he was
really known before he was using chemicals and stuff like
that. So I've seen kind of the evolution over time. You
know, that's a meal as performance art and kind of a meal
as discovery. And that's different than like having like
an awesome outdoor barbecue or that's can be a great meal
because you're with awesome people and this whole other
layer of the dining experience. Which is interesting, too,
because over in Italy for example you can go to Michelin
starred restaurant you can have alta cocina experience.
And it's great. It may not be the best meal you've had in
your life that might have been some spaghetti and clams you had in
trattoria somewhere. That's what it is for me. I love
great food and I, both in the high and both in the low,
that 26Twix bar and that chocolate soufflé But really I
think a great meal is made up of -- it's so many other
things. So can I pinpoint one, like, great meal? Umm. I
don't know that's a tough one. That could be breakfast
sushi at the Tokyo fish market at 6 o'clock in the
morning or that could have been that spaghetti and clams
at Batabota in Ligoria. It's-- I'm fortunate to have that
experience a lot. It also can be I don't know that bowl
of oatmeal with your -- maybe not oatmeal. [laughter] I'm sorry, I
take that back. That was completely off. >> Interviewer: So what do you think of the
whole molecular gastronomy trend. Your food is so much more
like rustic. I think of it as rustic almost like home cooking
but obviously elevated but there's something very
approachable I guess about it. >> Andrew: You know, I had bring up ElBulli
that's one of the stories in American flavor. I, in 1996 I was working
at France and after a year I took three months off and just
traveled. And a couple chefs said go down to Spain check
this guy out, check this guy out, and I went. I went
by myself and I was the only person there for lunch. And
you know, I was 25. I didn't really know what I was getting
into. I thought I was going to have paella and pan
con tomate all this kind of classic kettle and dishes and I sat down and
we had 20 amuse-bouche and there was all this stuff going on.
Interviewer: Forty courses later -- Andrew: And it was
like a 35 course lunch. And it wasn't -- it was cooking
I never seen anything like it before. And so, I asked
can I see the chef. In my mind for some reason I thought
it was going to be a couple -- because I was the only
customer I thought it would be just a couple of guys in
the kitchen hanging out. And the glass doors open there was 40 people back there. There
were sculptures inside. The first thing I noticed there were
no ovens inside the kitchen. And I was like, "What
is this place?" And so, I met Ferran and he was lovely.
And I said, "Well, I'm not doing anything for the
rest of the summer can I just stay here and work?" He
said, "I have too many people here. I'll tell you what,
come back for lunch. I could even I couldn't even afford
the the gas to get back to Rosas. And at that point.
He's like no no please come for lunch with my guest. I took
him up on it and I slept in the car and in the morning I
took swim and put on my clothes from the day before and
went for lunch and he had put a table in the kitchen for
two people. And he was the second person and another 40
courses completely different from the day before came out.
>>Interviewer: That's amazing. >>Andrew: And he sat down and ate every one
with me and we just talked about food and what he was trying to
do. This is kind of before he really had that international
fame and started working with the chemicals and trying
to change the perception of the diner and change that
kind of experience because he was complaining to me
he was tired of going to France, you know, going to the
great restaurants and almost every menu was the
same. So I had that experience very early on but I didn't
-- it didn't speak to me as something I wanted to replicate
or come back because really the soul there was kind
of a certain soul that I really liked about cooking and
serving that type of food. Even though it was amazing and
I appreciated it and I went back many times
after that. I know the techniques and learned them. It's not something I wanted to copy
if that makes sense. I appreciate that as a diner
and as a chef but it's not something I wanted to replicate.
>> Interviewer: That's an extraordinary story. >> Andrew: Yeah, it's a cool story.
>> Interviewer: Pretty cool. >> Andrew; I wish I took a picture of it because
I didn't. It was pre-iPhone.
>> Interviewer: So talking about that, what do you think about people
who do that in your restaurants like taking photographs
of the food and tweeting it and yelping. >> Andrew: I think at the beginning it kind
of really bugged me out a little bit. Completely honest. I if
I sat next to you at your desk and said, "What are you doing?
What's that e-mail you just sent?"
>> Interviewer: People do that everyday and poke at me. [laughter]
>> Andrew: Over the years become more comfortable with it. And
it was especially when you first open, too, because
restaurants are so -- it's such a crazy experience. Anticipate and blessed with people wanting
to come and experience that in the beginning, but it's
also maddening for me. It's not like if you're a musician
and you make your perfect song and you put it on a CD or
you put it in MP3 and you can play it ten years later and
it's the same. There are so many other factors. The
fish came late. The temperature in the dining room is
two degrees more. I'm in a bad mood; you're in a bad mood.
There's always these other factors involved. So, you
know, that kind of like immediate reaction to the thing
pictures thing. It would bug me out in the beginning
when like that culture first happened. Now I don't care, go ahead
and take pictures. We'll take a picture together in
front of the meat ball. Hey. [laughter] So I think it's
part of the social experience now. It's part of-- I mean, it's
the same. I love street art. So if I go by and want to
take a picture of this tag or that illustration,
it's the same. So I've given it up. I've given up the hate.
[laughter] >>Interviewer: So what do you think about
-- like, how has technology, if at all, affected the way you cook or maybe
the way you wrote your book start with that.
>>Andrew: You know, I'm always -- I've always kind of been
inspired kind of what your grandparents were cooking more
than what the great chefs were cooking. Food for me
was -- especially it's -- with travel especially is, I
like the anthropology and discovery of food and how it
relates to culture a little bit. And so, I've found
inspiration in old Fanny Farmer cookbooks and you know
just translating older cook books to see kind of how
things were done before so, you know, because some things
get forgotten. You know, there's one technique where you
take -- I love pickled cherries. It's a thing we use a
lot in the summer time or in June when sour cherries
come in, we'll pickle hundreds of pounds of sour cherries
and we'll use them for sauces and for garnishes. This is a
really cool technique where you save all the cherry pits
and you roast them in the oven and then crush them and
then pickle the cherries with the cherry pits. You put
them in a cloth. Because the cherry pits have kind of an
almond flavor to them. It give kind of this natural almond essence to the cherries. It's
a really primitive technique. You're taking the inside
of this food and then roasting it and crushing it
and then pickling inside it as opposed to using technology to transform the
cherry into something else. That kind of -- I know that's
fascinating to me because it's not extracting. It's
very elemental in a way. I like that kind of -- that
approach to it. >> Interviewer: So what's next for you as
a chef? >> Andrew: What's next for me as a chef. I
don't know. We're doing the book. >> Interviewer: Apart from the restaurant
opening and the book you're busy.
>> Andrew: You know, it's constantly evolving and because the
restaurant -- it's a very organic thing, a very living
thing. You know, the next thing it's just next we're
going to change some more fall menu items next week.
>> Interviewer: Don't take that ricotta off the menu. I will hunt you down
and find you. >> Andrew: The simplest dish we ever did before.
One of the simplest and it's the most popular thing we
ever created. >> Interviewer: Have you guys had this. Go
now. You must leave the office right now. I give you permission. I
have no authority to do this, but you must go have
it. It's amazing. It's the most popular thing
>> Andrew: That's answer example of something that can be really
so simple but so soul-satisfying and it's really about
the ingredients. We got the sheep milk ricotta. Because most
ricotta is made from buffalo milk -- I mean cow milk, which is delicious
The sheep milk has more tang to it. It comes from
Sardinia. The peanut brothers. It's like 400,000 sheep
of which I think I use 200,000 sheep because we sell so
much of it. But we buy everything they import because we
go through so much of it. So it's just highlighting that
in an amazing way. >> Interviewer: It's incredibly delicious.
I dream about it. [chuckles]I know it's not normal but it's really delicious.
How are we doing on time? So I want to make sure to leave
time. So we'll just do a few more questions before
we wrap up. So if I came to your house for dinner what would
you make. >> Andrew: Invited or not invited. [laughter]
>> Interviewer: Either way. I'm getting your address after.
>> Andrew: The last guest I had at my house was Wylie Dufresne
He's a chef at wd~50. He's a neighbor of mine and a friend. He
came to my house and his wife brought cookies and I
ordered Motorino pizza. >> Interviewer: That will do.
>> Andrew: It was. >> Interviewer: Cookies from Mrs. Dufresne.
>> Andrew: That was the last meal that was served at my house to
a guest. >> Interviewer: Sounds like what's served
at my house, not gonna lie. >> Andrew: You know it's the great thing about
being in New York. You know the -- it's you can get so many great
things like so easily and you can run out to Queens
and get Thai food or you can go to Flushing and go to Golden
Mall or you can run up and have a 5 course French
meal if you want. There's so much access to, you know,
that -- if I'm cooking at home though, my 'go to' is
two things. It's pasta with tomato sauce or it's like a roast
chicken and a salad. Big huge salad and a roast chicken.
>> Interviewer: Sounds interesting because that seems to influence the two restaurants.
Locanda is your pasta with tomato sauce restaurant and roast chicken at the Dutch.
>> Andrew: It's so simple. >> Interviewer: So, what would you recommend
-- what is your favorite restaurant that everyone should know about?
In New York since we're in New York.
>> Andrew: Again, it's one of those questions, because there's so
many different levels of, you know. >> Interviewer: One that people wouldn't necessarily
know about a little hidden gem that we're all going to
turn up to on Saturday.
>> Andrew: It goes back to that technology question, what
restaurant haven't you heard about. >> Interviewer: That's probably true.
>> Andrew: As soon as something is discovered. >> Interviewer: Somebody's tweeting about
it. >> Andrew: Somebody's tweeting about it. It's
great at the same time it's -- what is that place? Maybe we'll
create it. Maybe we'll go out to like, you know, I don't
know. >> Interviewer: And we won't tell anybody.
>> Andrew: We'll go out to Midway. We won't tell anybody. It'll
just be me and you. We'll have spaghetti and roast
chicken every night. >> Interviewer: That sounds amazing. It has
been a very successful interview from my perspective. Okay, I'm going
to do my James Lipton moment because I'm feeling very
"Inside the Actor's Studio" right here. So a little word association finish
the sentence sort of thing before we open it up
for questions. Italy is --
>> Andrew: Complicated. >> Interviewer: Junk food is>> Andrew: Appropriate
when necessary [laughter] . >> Interviewer: Your favorite thing about
New York is>> Andrew: The food. Yeah. >> Interviewer: Best thing about bacon is
. >> Andrew: Tasty.
>> Interviewer: A food trend I like is>> Andrew: A food trend I like. Ice cream trucks.
>> Interviewer: A food trend I hate is >> Andrew: Hamburgers.
>> Interviewer: You don't like hamburgers. >> Andrew: I love hamburgers. [chuckling]
>> Interviewer: Hmm. Okay. Food trucks are >> Andrew: Good some places, bad other places.
>> Interviewer: Reality chef competitions are... .
>> Andrew: Dreadful. >> Interviewer: The most surprising thing
about Google to me is >> Andrew: That it exists. [laughter] .
>> Interviewer: We're not really here. It's all smoke and mirrors.
Thank you so much. I'm going to open it up for questions
if anyone has any. [Applause].
>> Interviewer: You need to go to the mic so, please.
>> Andrew:Wow. I didn't notice that before. >> Female#1: So, two questions actually. First
is, I'm going to the Dutch for the first time on Friday. What should
I order? What do I have to order do you think? And
the second is; oh you can answer that one first
>> Andrew: You know, if you haven't had them yet, the little
oyster sandwiches are kind of tasty. I highly suggest a
beer with them. And you know, I'm really, really digging
the the smoked chicken stroganoff right now which
stroganoff you don't really hear that word very much
anymore. >>Female #1: I do; I'm from Minnesota
>>Andrew: It is available at the Dutch right now.
>> Female #1: Nice. And then how do you make your roast chicken.
>> Andrew: The roast chicken -- how do -- at the restaurant how
do we make it? >> Female #1: How do you make it at home.
>> Andrew: The roast chicken at home is very, very simple. You
take a half stick of French butter and you put it in the
cavity with maldon sea salt and cracked pepper. Half a
garlic head cut in half, little bit of thyme, salt and
pepper on the outside and that is it. I don't even tie
it. That whole trussed chicken thing. At home, --at the
restaurants , different story -- at home don't even tie it. Just put it
inside and then for an hour go watch TV or do something
else. >> Female #1: Do you salt and pepper it and
let and leave it sit or you just put it on?
>> Andrew: No. And if you want to make it really great the
simple thing to do for roast chicken to make it really, really
crispy is put it in the refrigerator the night before and
don't cover it so the outside gets nice and dry.
>> Female #1: Butter on the inside. >> Andrew: I don't do temperature or anything
like that just at home it's just again that old technique of
just picking it up and then when the juices are clear and
it doesn't have the little blood specks in it, it's good
to go. Yeah.
>> Female #1: Nice. >> Female #2: Yeah. I was wondering, you know,
so much of a restaurant in New York is the ambiance. How
involved are you in the decorations of the restaurant and
the plating how does that whole process work.
>> Andrew: We have two great designers at both restaurants.
Probably I micromanage too much with my partners on how
that gets done. I know at both restaurants the art
that's on the wall, the photographs, the kind of random
object that's here and there I bought myself. I know
over at the Dutch I probably started like two years ago
just kind of collecting things because we had this idea
of what we wanted to do exactly. So it's combination of some Internet finds a trip
to up state here and there, just kind of, you know, Brooklyn
Flea and Chelsea Market. Just kind of like to help
tell a story -- because it's the corner restaurant.
Both are corner restaurants, I wanted to have that
sense of warmth a little bit. You have something that's kind
of a little bit funny and then something that's kind of
a nod to the neighborhood and something that's a nod to
the cuisine. I
just put all that together in a random type of way to
help tell the story of the place which most people never
notice really. It just kind of helps tell the story
really. >>Female #3: Hi. How are you?
>> Andrew: How are you doing? >> Female #3: Good. I was wondering, after
listening to your story about your experience at ElBulli, spending
the entire day in the kitchen, learning, talking about food
if you could have a similar experience today with anyone
who would you spend a day the kitchen with learning and
collaborating with. >> Andrew: You know, I think I'd love to go
to -- I don't know if it necessarily would be a chef. I'd love to
go to Japan and fish, I think, is what the next thing
I'd like to do. I want to get on a -- I want to see what fishing
is in Japan. Because seeing -- Japan, it's such
an amazing place to eat and I think I'd like to go on
a boat and catch some octopus with like a Japanese -- and
I have that connection. I've established the connection.
They're in a town called Atami and it's -- the brother of
a cute Japanese girl that cuts my hair. [laughter]And I am going
to -- next time I go to Japan maybe the end of next year
I am going octopus fishing with her brother. [laughter] I'd like to
find out where things come from and what their process
is. >> Female #4: Hi. How are you. I have three
questions. >> Andrew: We'll charge you extra. [laughter]
>> Female #4: My first is what's your favorite pizza place in New
York. >> Andrew: Favorite pizza. You know, pizza
is funny. Pizza -- people have a lot of love and a lot of hate
for pizza. It's all about the pizza they grew up with
and the pizza in their neighborhood. I like Motorino . I
like that style pie. Keste is good, also. But if I want
to get a slice up by Columbia, La Familia is fine because
it's a slice joint. That's a New York phenomenon.
So I, I'll enjoy one of those, too. But there's no excuse
for bad pizza. [audience chuckles] There's absolutely
no excuse for that. So Motorino. I like that Neapolitan style. I
really like. >> Female #4: Question No. 2 -- what's your
favorite ingredient to use and how do you feel about flavored oils
and vinegars. >> Andrew: Favorite ingredient to use probably
tomatoes just in general. So much you can do with that and
sweet and sour and sauce bases and many cuisines. Flavored
oils, flavored vinegars not a big fan. Vinegar is
-- good vinegar there's no replacing good vinegar.
Even like red wine vinegar to have a good quality like aged
French vinegar usually. We were making our own vinegar
for awhile which was kind of like a interesting
experiment that led to lots of mold and sometimes flies.
[laughter] But sometimes those results -- actually cider
vinegar is really easy to make at home. It's really easy
to make at home. If you get a small barrel and some cider
you can have some good results with that. Flavored
oils. There's like chemicals involved and it's not.
You can get better results just combining those two
ingredients by themselves.
>> Female #4: Right. And in terms of marinating red meat, some
chefs don't really believe in that. Some will just do it
marinate it for hours some will just throw it on the
grill. How do you feel about that. >>Andrew: It depends what the
application is really if you're going to -- like, in the
book, in American flavor, we have -- there's a rib recipe
that you put the spices all over the ribs and then you
put it in the fridge for six hours. That is a certain
application because it's the way we're going to cook it
afterwards. If you're going to -- it just depends.
Depends on the cut, too. >> Male: What if it's a 16 ounce rib eye.
I ask because I've heard both sides. >> Andrew: 16 ounce rib eye? You know, again,
I wouldn't marinate it. If you have a great -- if you
have a great piece of meat like that. I don't know, you
went to somewhere and sourced something that's really
great, I'd rather like it to be beefy. At the restaurant,
at the Dutch, I just feel like if I want to open
up an American restaurant we had to make it would be pretentious
of me not to make the best steak we could. So we
spend a lot of time trying to source from a particular
farm and we were dry aging for 28 days and we're doing
this technique called re-aging. Because you dry age the whole
piece of meat and then you cut your steaks, you trim it up and
then you cut your steaks. We cut the steaks and we're aging
the steaks individually again afterwards. So there's
more dry age flavor on them. It's just salt and pepper.
So it's kind of about the natural minerality of the steaks
and getting a really good char on the outside instead
of trying to infuse it with other flavors. I don't think there's a reason
to do a chili rubbed steak necessarily if you have
a great piece of meat. If I'm going to eat a piece of steak,
do steak [laughter], I want to taste the beefiness
of it instead of trying to make it taste like something else.
With steak I try to be kind of pure about it.
>> Female#4: Thank you. >>Andrew: Cheers
>> Female #5: Hi. So I have a question about the business end of
things. I mean, it's obvious you go on the reputation of
your talent as well. But you're also in a very
competitive restaurant market in New York City. So I
think conventional wisdom always says it's one of the
hardest businesses to go into. So what do you think
aside from the buzz you get as a chef and kind of your
talents what else do you do to run a successful operation.
>> Andrew: It is true, you know, that the art of cooking is very
different than the business of food. It's like very
very -- they're different. And there's no road map to
success. No one ever taught me how to do that. No one
ever -- there's no book on it. They don't teach you that
in school. There's no -- it's a lot of mistakes I made.
I made so many mistakes. The thing about mistakes I make
ten a day but I try not to let everyone know about them. [audience chuckles]
Cover your tracks. It's a very human business. I have
two operating partners. One guy who is a -- we cooked
together for many years. He was a chef for me and a cook
for me for many years who has now moved into -- he takes
care of the kitchen design and scheduling, costing,
organizing. He builds the restaurants and then I have
another guy, Josh Picard, who takes care of the front end
of the business part of it so I can concentrate on what
I'm good at or at least what I aspire to be good at. And
I think that, again, it's like we can have all the opening
buzz you want for a restaurant but that only works for
three months, four months and then it's -- you have to be
consistent in what you do and I think that's really the
biggest thing. Doesn't matter if -- if you're the diner
on the corner and you do the dried out grilled piece of
chicken on top of the Caesar salad, you want to go back
because that's the thing you want to go back for. It's like the same, every single time.
So it doesn't matter if you're doing fois gras three
ways or pork buns or a bowl of spaghetti or you're doing the dried
out piece of chicken, you have to be like the same and try
to deliver the same kind of experience. And I think
that's the most important thing. >> Female #5: Thank you.
>> Interviewer: Any other questions, guys? You need to go to the mic
Matthew. [laughter] >> Andrew: Maybe you should rap.
>> [laughter] Go ahead. >> female #6: So I just have this perception
of chefs always making the perfect meal every single time never any
flaws. >> Andrew: Oh, that's not a perception -- that's
how it is. >> Female #6: But have you as a chef put some
things together how much is supposed to go together and then just
say, "oh, this is awful." And just throw it away and
start over. >> Andrew: That happens all the time.
>> Female #6: That's good to know. >> Andrew: that happens all the time. Just
for when the -- usually my process is I'll probably have -- if
we're going to do a menu change or we're going to
come up with a new restaurant like we just did with The
Dutch probably four or five pages of ideas. You know, the
type on the computer will be just like local something
something with garlic. Hey, let's do something with veal
ribs. Or, you know, they end up being not -- you have just
like whittle down the ideas, kind of. And my formula is
if one out of five ideas work, then you had a good day.
So just kind of have to like -- sometimes, you know, it sounds
really good and "let's try this thing" -- but, you
know, maybe you can't get a supply of it every day which happens
sometimes. Or maybe I can make it awesome but then you
try to put it in the production of the restaurant making
it every day and it never works because making one thing
and making 150 of something it's a different context.
>> Female #6: Thanks. >> Male #1: Hi. So I sort of -- like, when
I go out to eat, I sort of differentiate between the times when
I go out to eat and I'm starving and I just want a burger
and fries versus something where on a Saturday night
and I've been planning all week to go to a restaurant. And I just want to know if you
have a thought there were any sort of tips or hard
and fast rules to ordering to sort of get the most
out of your restaurant experience whether it's ordering
thematically or balancing.
>>Andrew: I think it's all about context and where you are and
what type of restaurant it is or who you're out with or
what the purpose is. Like, obviously you're just eating
to eat, you're going to get a turkey wrap and you're
going to split, you know? I think that, you know, just
the restaurateur chef in me, any restaurant is going to
give. I never judge a place on one try. Because I know,
as a diner, just eating out so much in all of the world,
you can be having the meal of your lifetime and the
person next to you can be having the worst experience
ever. It's just kind of -- it's just the theater of a
restaurant. And so, I think the thing is, you know --
you know there's obvious. On some menus you can just
look at that and that's just wrong I'm going to stay away
from that. And then, there's the obvious choices. Kind
of just depends on how many times you've been there.
Depends on the mood you're in. That's why what I try to
do is always balance out the menu so there's a little
something kind of for everyone. So I have tripe on my
menu but I also have a quinoa salad with squash and hazel
nuts. It just depends what night it is. So if you're
balling with like your buddies and you're doing tequila
shots or did you go for the '82 Bordeaux? Kind of depends.
>> Male #1: Just go with your gut. >>Andrew: Yeah, just go with your gut
>> Male #1: Thank you. >> Male #2: So I guess this is a little bit
related to how you as a chef, you know, dine out. I think all of
us that dine out a lot you, end up with your pet peeves.
Just curious what drives you nuts as a diner.
>> Andrew: I think the biggest thing is just not caring.
That's -- it doesn't matter if it's the Greek salad.
It's just blatantly not giving a shit [laughter] is really kind of
like the -- that's the thing that like, always. Again,
mistakes are going to happen. Someone's going to, you
know, they're going to open up their oyster and there's
going to be a little sand in it. There's too much salt
in it. That's going to happen; that's the human aspect of it. Blatant attitude or just
that just like drives me crazy. And you can feel it
sometimes when you sit down. You know, you can feel it
right away. So that's the biggest thing -- yeah. >> Male #2: Thanks.
>> Male #3: Who are your favorite green market suppliers what
you're taking that winesap out of the walk in, and where do you like it to
be from? >> Andrew: You know, I've been buying from
the market here since I first came to New York. And just being,
working restaurants whatever since the early 90s,
they're usually there every Wednesday. You know, Franca at
Berried Treasures, we buy a lot from Franca and we
buy a lot from Rick Bishop. Fortunate enough that I don't
have to physically go to the markets to get those
things because they're both busy restaurants. We pay cash
to the farmers [chuckles] and so they like to deliver
to us. But Millerelli, Franca, Berried Treasures, those
are kind of like our 'go to' people. And then, we have like
one or two that could get us just stuff that they don't even
put out at the green market because they know we're going
to sell it right away or that's what I want. Like someone's
going to bring us local chanterelles the one month they're in season. Or
local huckleberries the one month in season. I've always
bought a lot from the market even though I don't necessarily use that
as a marketing plan. It's kind of like, I think, if you're
a good American chef or just a good chef in general
that's what you're doing these days. Good. >> Male #3: Thank you.
>> Interviewer: Any other questions, guys? Okay, thank you so much. This has been really
fun. [applause]
>> Andrew: Thanks for having me.