Yesterday (Tuesday) was another final exam day at FCI… the jury was, as always, quite impressive. Angela Dimino is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to getting the best group of jurors possible for our students.
The presence of Craig Koketsu from Park Avenue Summer (and Quality Meats) was a reminder – again – that we really need to get into Park Avenue soon, before they change seasons again!
Here’s a list of restaurants where some of our favorite jurors can be found, and that I haven’t visited in ages and need to get back to ASAP!
1. Park Aveue (Season of your choice): Craig Koketsu (see above) and chef de cuisine Kevin Lasko are extremely talented, and great guys as well. They are both very supportive of the work we are doing and employ so many of our students and graduates that we joke that it is FCI North. Not only does the menu change seasonally, the entire restaurant changes along with the name. Fortunately the quality of the food is timeless.
2. Quality Meats: Craig is also the executive chef of Quality Meats, but he has the talented Lawrence Knapp (also see above) running the show as chef de cuisine. We really need to work up an appetite for our next visit here… Last time Angela and I dined at QM, we had enough food for 10 and enjoyed every bite!
3. Dressler: I hate to admit that I’ve never been to this Brooklyn Michelin star restaurant, especially since the Chef, Polo Dobkin, is an FCI alumni and a great guy as well. This one may well be the next place on my list.
4. Oceana: Chef Ben Pollinger is so down to earth and easy going that you would never guess his incredible kitchen history (including time under Ducasse in Monte Carlo). Not only is he an amazing chef, he also has a garden that supplies some of the produce for the restaurant. Now that the restaurant is moved into its new digs, it’s time for a visit.
5. Public (and/or Double Crown): I know, I’m cheating a little bit by putting both of them in there, but I just couldn’t decide! Both are home to chef Brad Farmerie and owner Dan Rafalin who are frequent jurors for our finals – Dan is even a distinguished alum of FCI. Either way, the flavors are vibrant, the textural composition of the dishes are exciting, and the cocktails are great!
Seems my list of places I need to eat keeps growing each day – it’s going to take some time to catch up! Hope you’ll join me…