For the New York issue of our member newsletter, JBF Notes, we asked past Best Chef award winners from regions around the country to tell us what cuisine in the Big Apple means to them, and, of course, for their must-visit spots when they're in town. We'll be posting their responses throughout the week. Next up: Chris Hastings, winner of the 2012 Best Chef: South award and chef of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama.
What is New York cuisine?
For me, New York City is a place I go to experience the best food this country has to offer on all levels, from small hole-in-the-wall neighborhood spots that have been around for years to the finest restaurants in the country and everything in between. I usually go for work with a side of enjoyment, but my visits are guaranteed to refresh ideas and ignite inspiration.
Il Buco is always spot on in terms of flavor and technique. The atmosphere is one of my favorites and there's always a great meal to be had. Roberta's in Brooklyn—part of the experience is just getting there. There's a whole new life inside, behind that door. We also love the Dutch and anything Andrew Carmellini does. We have been hearing great things about what Kyle Knall is doing at Maysville and are looking forward to making a stop there on my next trip. My wife and I make it a point to sit at the bar at Union Square Café for drinks and dinner. That’s just a timeless spot for us.