Stories / Awards, Guides and Tips

A Rising Star Chef of the Year Nominee Shares His NYC Favorites

Maggie Borden

April 18, 2017


The James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award celebrates the country's up-and-coming toques who are pushing the industry forward with their innovative techniques and styles. Since these tastemakers have their fingers on the pulse of today's dining scene, we asked this year's nominees to guide us through the best food and drink of their home base. Here, Matthew Rudofker of New York City's Momofuku Ssäm Bar, shares his Big Apple picks for everything from cocktails to pizza.


Date Night: Hearth — "I really love the redesigned menu, warm dining room, and focus on vegetables."

Daytime Date: Prime Rib at Keens — "The go-to order? Martini and prime rib. No explanation needed."

Cheap Eats:  "I prefer buying groceries and cooking at home—my own cheap eats. I'm making mostly soups and braises right now. I never used to cook at home, but now I make time to do so as much as I can."

Breakfast: "I don't like heavy breakfast, and juice is the way I like to start the day, so I usually make a stop at Pressed Juicery, my favorite juice spot, to pick up a Greens 3 and Roots 3."

Drinks: "Depends on what I'm ordering. Cocktails at the Nomad Bar, sake at Decibel, or wine at the Ten Bells. Why only have one option?"

Pizza: Marta — "Solid pizza with a great Italian wine list. Added plus: it's convenient and close to where I live."

Learn more about the 2017 James Beard Awards.


Maggie Borden is associate editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.