The Chef Proprietor behind Artisanal Group, Terrance Brennan, reigns over New York’s timeless favorites Picholine and Artisanal Bistro & Wine Bar. Quickly making his way to culinary greatness, Brennan first worked at some of America’s most notorious kitchens such as Le Cirque, Le Tour D’Argent, Les Crayeres and La Gavroche. His first foray into the New York food scene, Picholine, immediately earned four stars from New York Magazine, three from the New York TImes, and two stars in The Michelin guide from 2009-2011. Picholine is known for first introducing the European cheese course to fine dining in the US, and Brennan soon expanded this to Artisanal Bistro and Wine Bar - a bistro-fromagerie wine bar that attracts gastronomes around the world. Brennan’s establishments are a magnet for epicures, so we couldn’t think of a better restaurateur for this weeks Epicurean’s Questionnaire…
Describe your ideal food day…
Going to local markets in Europe – for example, Spain, Italy, and France. Visiting Artisans and Winemakers and ending up at a Winemakers dining room overlooking the vineyards having lunch and or dinner.
Ideal day, great food, great wine, great friends.
What’s your drink?
My drink is wine, of all kinds. Ever so often a Negroni and/or Martini
What would your last meal be?
My last meal would be Royal Osetra Caviar with butter toast points and a 1990 Krug Champagne. Follow that with fresh egg pasta with white truffle and perhaps a Pouilly Montrachet Laflaive 1999. Then I would have pizza, very thin crust between a Neapolitan and a Roman style pizza so it is crispy and chewy, not quite as floppy as a Neapolitan, with Domaine de la Romanèe Conti 1985.
How do you start your day?
Coffee, then oatmeal or yogurt or a power shake that keeps me going.
Favorite place to travel for food?
France, Italy & Spain, and everywhere else.
What ingredient do you consider overrated?
Truffle oil. Yuck.
What ingredient are you convinced makes everything better?
Your afternoon snack…
Fruits, nuts, and whatever I am tasting for new menu items.
What’s always in your fridge?
2% milk, yogurt, pickles, water. I don’t eat as healthy as it sounds.
Favorite night of the week, and why?
Sunday evening because it follows Sunday, which I spend with my children.
What’s not a “thing” in New York food yet, that should be?
Korean fine dining and Roman style pizza.
What are your vices?
French fries & impatience.
Is there anything, that’s at all your restaurants, that screams “Terrance?”
Cheese of course.
Take me through a typical night…
Starts with a pre-shift meeting going over line up notes with front of house staff, then back into kitchen for quality checks. As night progresses going back and forth from kitchen to dining room, meeting guests and supporting kitchen.
The New York food spot that never goes out of style…
Peter Luger Steakhouse and Little Italy