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Chef’s Choir: Celebrating Father’s Day

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Our chefs come from myriad backgrounds and experiences, but they all share a passion for food and hospitality. We’ve asked them to lend their voices to share their Father’s Day memories, stories, and recipes.


Chef Solanki Roy

Venue Chef, 550 Madison

My father is a simple kindhearted man. He has seen the India Pakistan partition as a child, and understands the horrors of war like no other, he migrated to India leaving his homeland behind and started everything from scratch, so he instilled some strong values in me like hard work and perseverance. My father is a very evolved soul, he has broken away from old school patriarchy and is a feminist by heart. 

 

A sampling of Chef Solanki’s menu at 550 Madison.

The best culinary tip passed onto me is, cook from your heart and positive emotions, anything cooked with love compassion and good thoughts tastes good. 

 

Anything cooked with anger, aggression or toxic work environment translates to food. So keep kitchen culture healthy, no yelling, no throwing pots and pans or glorifying abuses in kitchen. It’s not good for anyone, the cooks, the customers or the food. 


Chef Andrew Smith

Culinary Director

As a culinary professional I have seen most holidays as just another working day. A day in which other people go out and celebrate. That held true for me until Fathers’ Day on June 19th, 2010. That was the day my first son was born. My wife went into labor in the very early hours the morning before when her water broke. She labored over the 30 or so hours culminating in an emergency c-section. After my wife and I welcomed our son into the world. He underwent the usual rituals of stamping his hands and feet and general checkup. Then he was returned to my wife’s arms for so much needed rest. I took this opportunity to get myself a cup of coffee. I took the elevator down to street level and crossed the street to the local coffee shop. As I stood in line waiting for my coffee another patron looked at me a said happy Father’s Day. At first it did not register that they were speaking to me. Then I realized that they had noted the hospital wristband I was wearing. I thanked them a bit awkwardly and turned to leave. As I went out back onto the street, I reflected on the fact that this was now and for the first time a day that meant something more than a busy brunch.


Chef Marvyn Willams II

Venue Manager & Chef, Wollman Rink

As the years have gone by Father’s Day has become a time that I look forward to. It’s a time where we get to light the grill, grab the dominoes, play catch with the family, and grab a cold one. In my family we love to grill, and we use a combo of wood and charcoal. Wether we spend Father’s Day in Belize or here in the states there is a go-to recipe that I always tie this time of year with and it’s become a family favorite: my roasted corn salad. I love to make variations of this recipe depending on what I can find at the local market back home in Belize or here in the states. I have fond memories of peeling corn, picking cilantro, jalapeno and limes with my father and brothers.  And the best part is that kids love it too!

Chef Alex Beddoe

Sous Chef, Wollman Rink

Growing up, Father’s Day was pretty much an extension of Mother’s Day since I was raised by my mother. So why not give her an extra day of celebration? She did the best she could being an only parent at covering both sides of parenthood for which I am grateful.

On the culinary side, we had moments when I would help in the kitchen to complete meals for the day or holidays we would spend together. One of my favorites would be Puerto Rican style pasteles. Not something done in the summer, but it was something that stood out to me growing up. The amount of work going into making the dish can be fun for a kid as well as exhausting. From seasoning the pork shoulder to grating the fruits and veggies such as plantains and yuca.

Now an actual recipe was never had. Most of the time it felt like we were winging it, however the end results were always satisfying.

Nowadays, meals do not get made on Mother’s Day as I would like but I still remember the ones we shared while growing up.

You might ask why this wasn’t shared on Mother’s Day. Well, I figured for someone who didn’t have a father to celebrate it with, I’ll give the recognition to the one who filled that role for me.


Chef Joe Bachman

Venue Chef, Rockefeller University

For special occasions, like Father’s Day, our choice was influenced by being from Florida. We enjoyed Baked Chorizo & Cornbread Stuffed Spiny Tailed Lobster! The tip that was passed down was to not overcook the meat.

I owe pretty much all my passion, Love and ambition about food to my Dad. Since I have memory, he has always motivated me to at least try different things, ingredients, cuisines, flavors.

He is someone that know a lot about food and also likes cooking and does so very well!

Many years ago, 23 or so, I was with My Dad at home. Just the two of us because my Mom and my sister had left. It was lunch time and I remember him asking me what I wanted to eat. I replied that I didn’t know so he said “don’t worry, I got it”

Just a few minutes later, we were sitting down in the outdoor patio that the house had and I was enjoying my first ever SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO. It was magical, and as I write these words I promise you I can still enjoy those exact flavors in my mouth remembering that moment.

It’s about those moments that leave a mark on you forever. There are certain flavors that you’ll remember for the rest of your Life and this is definitely one of them.

The dish was so good, so simple, just amazing. Of course I had more than one plate!

Dad, I celebrate this Father’s Day remembering on of the best culinary moments of my existence.