Chef Jody Williams brought Paris to New York with Buvette in Greenwich Village. Recently she brought Paris back to Paris – opening the concept in Paris’ Pigalle neighborhood. Williams is a favorite restaurateur of ours, and may just be one of the sweetest chefs we’ve met. It’s why we sat down to discuss all things of the cooking and croissant persuasion…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Up early preparing a clam bake with the works out on Martha’s Vineyard and enjoying it until the sun goes down…bonfires, barbecues and salt air. Ice chests of full of beer and slices of watermelon (And no dishes to wash).
How do you always start your day on a good note?
I don’t…but I make up for it by five o’clock with a Negroni and fried artichokes.
The ingredient that makes everything better…
Sea salt wins. Buttered toast and sea salt, chocolate and sea salt, fresh tomatoes and sea salt, watermelon and sea salt, and hard boiled egg and sea salt.
The ingredient that’s overrated…
How do you balance eating well and staying healthy?
I don’t…but let’s pretend I do. Let’s pretend I just finished yoga class and I am home juicing before starting a long day. Let’s pretend I cope with stress by meditating instead of watching old Seinfeld episodes and eating potato chips.
A quintessential Italian dish in no more than five steps…
Carpaccio di Manzo con Rucola e Parmigiano
1. 100g of beef filet, pounded thinly.
2. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Top with a handful of arugula.
4. Add shaved parmesan.
A quintessential French dish in no more than five steps…
Omelette du Fromage
1. Beat 3 eggs.
2. Grate gruyere cheese.
3. Butter a hot pan.
4. Add eggs and stir.
5. Add cheese, season, roll, and plate.
Common pitfalls you see amongst young chefs…
Not appreciating simplicity enough.
What’s a passion you have for something other than food?
Collecting antiques and collectables.
A go-to recipe when eating in…
Spaghetti Aglio E Olio.
What’s always in your fridge?
You never liked X till you had it at Y…
I never liked calves brains until I had them at…wait a minute, I still don’t like them.
Something the Paris food scene has that NYC doesn’t…
Awesome butter, excellent seafood, a plethora of green markets and 500 years of culture.
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
Nationally, I still need to get myself to New Orleans, Seattle and Portland. San Francisco is a favorite old stomping ground; places that make me happy are Zuni Café, State Bird Provisions, Tartine, Chez Panisse, Camino, Flour+Water, Slanted Door. Internationally, in London, Ottolenghi. In Rome, Pizzarium. In Paris, Vandermeersch, Boucherie les Province, and La Pointe du Grouin.
In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what is ‘the new potato’ right now in food?
“The New Potato” in food is gathering.
*For Jody’s recipe for Roast Chicken Salad, Click Here
*Jody Williams, photographed at Buvette in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.