Ali Schneider

There’s a lot cooking (pun intended) at Haven’s Kitchen, the gourmet food shop/event space/cooking school in the Flatiron district. At the helm is founder and owner Ali Schneider, who’s always dreamed of a community where people could learn, prepare and share food all in one place. Turns out, she’s created it right in the heart of New York City, and people seem to be flocking there for specialty foods and local options. We chatted with Schneider on everything delicious at her impressive food mecca…

Describe your ideal food day…

An ideal day would start with a piping hot Americano coffee at home – two shots, hot water and whole milk. I’d like a hunk of nutty/grainy bread with that, lots of butter and some jam. Then I’d go to the farmers market with my son; it’s our special time together and he’s a nibbler like me. So we’d walk around, shop for veggies, sample cheese and jam and buy our favorites. Then we’d come to Haven’s and have family meal – I love a Grain Gratin that Ashton [Keefe – head instructor at Haven’s] makes and a big crunchy salad. I’ll have some of our spiced nuts in the late afternoon, with one of our chai lattés. Dinner would be fish taco night at my house – all six of us get to DIY tacos – we make guacamole, spicy mayo, salsa, and I bread the fish…so its kind of amazing. I’d drink tequila; the kids wouldn’t.

What’s your drink?

Hendricks and tonic in a rocks glass with lemon, not lime.

What would your last meal be?

Super crispy roast chicken with a big salad and roasted potatoes. Or a vat of Cacio e Pepe and a bottle of red.

How do you start your day?

I have five kids to get to school so I start it with caffeine and a touch of breath of fire.

Favorite place to travel for food?

Honestly, the folks at Haven’s make every meal travel-able for.

What ingredient do you consider overrated?

Truffle oil. Hate it conceptually. Don’t mind the flavor though.

What ingredient are you convinced makes everything better?

Butter or chicken fat.

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