Chef Brad Farmerie manages to create explorative, global food that can be categorized as both delicious experiments and incredible dishes. This new icon brings fusion to the next level; it’s no surprise to learn that he first got his start under renowned restaurateur Peter Gordon. First working with Gordon at The Sugar Club, Farmerie went on to help him open The Providores and Tapa Room in 1996 – an iconic London spot. Thankfully, Farmerie came back to the states in 2003, and helped AvroKo open its first independent restaurant – Public, which immediately won rave reviews from The New York Times, as well as a Michelin Star. The Daily (a cocktail lounge within Public) helps make the place a true representation of Farmerie’s food – one pleasure within another pleasure within another. He now also reigns as executive chef at AvroKo’s Saxon and Parole and Madame Geneva, both newly coveted hot spots for innovative food and cocktails. Brad Farmerie consistently puts an exciting twist on everything he touches. In other words, he’s the kind of chef every New Yorker hopes for.
Can you describe what your ideal food day would be?
Anything that involved a farmers market and getting to cook (preferably outside) for my family. Maybe at the beach…
What’s your favorite place to travel for food?
Not an easy answer; I have always chosen my travel destinations based on what I can eat and drink along the way.
Thailand and Vietnam are favorites for incredible ingredients, pure freshness, punches of chili/citrus and availability of street food.
India for its use of spice and its well-considered approach to vegetarian cuisine.
Western Europe for history and tradition.
Mexico, because I could eat that cuisine every day of my life and be happy.
Where would you like to travel for inspiration that you haven’t been to yet?
What ingredients make everything better? Which do you find overrated?
Salty/umami stuff like soy sauce and miso [make everything better]. I think bacon and butter are a bit overrated and usually result in heavy-handed, fatty slop.
What is your go-to recipe when cooking for family and friends?
I love doing braised dishes when cooking for friends because it doesn’t need babysitting. So there is time to spend catching up instead of being chained to the stove cooking. Give me some oxtail, lamb shanks, or pork shoulder for some slow cooked, unctuous delights.
What are your favorite other cities for food? What spots do you go to there?
Portland: Pok Pok, Country Cat, Olympic Provisions, and it’s insane-o Food Truck scene (I once ate at Nong’s twice in one day). I have a friend who just opened a place called Smallwares so I’ll definitely be dining there the next time I go back in September
Chicago: Birrieria Zaragoza for goat, Publican for all around good food and fun, La Pasadita for late night steak burrito, Lem’s Bar-B-Que on 75th for ribs (it’s near a friends house so he takes me there all the time).
London: I lived in London for eight years so I love the food scene there. Borough Market for tons of great gourmet grub, Brick Lane for a hundred affordable Indian restaurants, Allens of Mayfair for an old-school butcher that’s been around for 120 years, coffee from my friend Miles at Caravan on Exmouth, brunch at The Providores.
If you could pick a chef to be in the competitive arena with, that you haven’t yet gone up against, who would it be?
I’m kind of done with the competitive cooking. So maybe The Swedish Chef?
What ingredient would you like to be assigned?
What ingredient would you dread?