Compliments of the Chef with Mark Dommen

Compliments of the Chef with Mark Dommen

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Dommen at his restaurant in the Financial District.

December 6, 2013
CF: I'm best known for my _______ cooking but I can make one hell of a _______. 
MD: balanced, classical French-influenced; beer-can chicken 

CF: Three words your sous chef would use to describe you. 
MD: Hardworking, fair, and inspirational. 

CF: What are you most excited about right now in your restaurant? 
MD: I'm excited about our new charcuterie program. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do and it's taken some time. We've had some failures and now we're seeing some successes, and the successes are pretty tasty. It emerged out of our weekly whole-beast program. 

CF: Which chef would you drop everything to stage with? 
MD: He's not working anymore, but it'd have to be Frédy Girardet from Crissier in Switzerland. He has great precision. 

CF: Insider tip from the kitchen for diners. 
MD: A great piece of meat is a well-rested piece of meat. You have to let it rest so that the juices can disperse itself back into the meat. It doesn't come straight out of the oven and onto your plate, so it's not always as hot as you'd think. We also try to accommodate as much as we can, but when diners want to change a dish around completely, they might be better off ordering something else. 

CF: Message to professional food critics. 
MD: It's easy to go after the hot, new guys because that's what everybody wants to read about, but that's often the only focus. Centering exclusively on the newest restaurants tends to leave out the consistently good ones. 

CF: Secret off-the-menu item that your guests can order tonight. 
MD: We sell so many orders of the green market salad, but it's not printed on the menu; it's something our regulars know about. In addition, any of our bar menu items, which are fun and cool to eat, are also available to order in the dining room. 

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs. 
MD: Hard work. It's a lot of hard work. Cooking is a craft and it takes time to develop that craft, so you're not going to graduate culinary school and be a chef in a year or two. But once you put in the hard work, it's very rewarding. 

CF: What's for family meal tonight? 
MD: Our best family meals are when our cooks make something that's reflective of their culture, and I'm always encouraging them to do so. When this happens we get to enjoy great ceviche, tacos, and Korean dishes.