In this week's New Yorker, Lauren Collins files a lengthy profile on chef April Bloomfield, her partner restaurateur Ken Friedman, and their restaurants The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and the newly opened The John Dory Oyster Bar. It comes just two months after New York's treatise on the subject. To condense, below we offer the ten bests lines and tidbits:
1) "If David Chang’s band of renegades are the Red Sox of the New York restaurant world, Bloomfield’s cooks are the Yankees, square and conscientious."
2) Who she likes to hire: "Nobody weird. Nobody with dreadlocks...Well, no white guys with dreadlocks...People with chile peppers on their chef pants shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen"
3) "As a teen-ager, Bloomfield became a club kid and an amateur d.j. (her handle was Scima D). She spent a lot of time in the Prince of Wales, her local."
4) Badass: "At the height of the dinner rush, Bloomfield approached a lagging cook who was frying chicken livers, and stood behind him with her arms crossed. After a minute, she picked up a pair of tongs and turned over one of the livers. The underside was pale. Bloomfield grabbed the pan, marched over to a trash can, and silently emptied the pan’s content."
5) Ken Friedman, on teaming up with Batali: "Over the years in New York, he had got to know the chef Mario Batali. 'I was always bringing rock stars in, and Mario’s such a starfucker he’d befriend us.'"
6) Friedman on his early menu input: "I wrote, 'Some of my investors and friends are vegans, and I was thinking, like, a tofu hot dog,' She wrote back, 'If you’re thinking tofu hot dog, maybe I’m not the girl for you. In fact, I’m not interested in tofu at all.'"
7): On giving April a share: "Friedman gave Bloomfield a ten-per-cent stake. 'After a couple of years, I realized this was fifty-fifty,' Friedman said. 'My friends and lawyers said, 'You’re crazy.' But I love her. She made me what I am.'"
8) April on NYC gastropub imitators: “It’s the people that ran with it and extended it too far,” she said. “In London, there’s a chain of ones called the Slug & Lettuce—or the one that just opened here called the Rabbit in the Moon. Why name a pub that?"
9) Friedman on the Dory failure: "“We were talked into that space by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich and Tom Colicchio,”
10) Potential expansion: "In June, Friedman said, 'The Hard Rock Hotel people were saying to us, ‘We want a Spotted Pig in the Hard Rock.’ And April’s kind of like, ‘Vegas?’ But she’s changing now that she’s trying to buy her first apartment. She’s realizing, ‘Wow, we can make some money here,’ and that her cooks need to have places to go when they’re ready to move on.'...What she really wants is a bakery...What Friedman really wants is a tongue-in-cheek red-sauce Italian place. They both want a farm..."
· Burger Queen [New Yorker]