East End Brasserie Chef Steven Zobel: New Guy in Town
I've always wanted to live at the beach. Now that I'm married and we have a kid and I work so much, we didn't have the opportunity to take advantage of all that New York has to offer. A friend of mine who is the GM here told me about the position. I was hired and moved down in May.
On the difference between fancy French versus rustic French cooking
Triomphe is a small, 40-seat restaurant that's geared toward a fancier crowd. It's more sculpted dishes, and I used more ingredients. Here, we'll have a higher volume of customers. It's simple, straightforward fare: steak frites, raw bar... And the prices are significantly lower.
On the difference between sourcing here versus in New York
You can get anything anywhere if you're willing to pay the price, since the market is so global now. Local swordfish is actually more expensive here than Chilean swordfish because New Yorkers are willing to pay such high prices.
On gulf oysters
They're the blue-collar oysters. They're versatile. I use them in stews or for anything that's cooked.
Favorite ingredient right now
Chestnut purée jam. The true chestnut flavor is just sweet enough, and the nuttiness is a great complement to foie gras.
Favorite kitchen tool
Sous vide machine. It's great for storage in that it keeps ingredients crisp while it maintains shape. I love using compressed fruits that really condense flavors. We'll be using some for our cocktail program that I'm really excited about. I also like the microplane.
Knives: German or Japanese?
German. I use Wusthof.
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