With Spring 2017 just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about getting outside more. Whether you’ve had a long day at the office, a long session at the gym or a long walk in the park, there are few more fulfilling ways to reward yourself than by trying a new restaurant. In turn, Downtown reached out to some folks from great establishments to learn more about their menus:
- Halifax Restaurant’s Executive Chef Seadon Shouse
- Pinto Garden’s Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri
- Taco Truck co-founder Jason ScottIs there a chef that you’d like to see Downtown catch up with? Drop us an e-mail and let us know!
What’s new and exciting with your restaurant?
Chef Seadon Shouse: We are starting our new winter cocktail list this week that has some great seasonal flavors. I am also excited about a new Long Island Duck dish on the menu with turnips, carrots, mushrooms, pickled garlic and a parsnip puree.
Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri: At Pinto Garden, we will have a menu that will change seasonally based on the ingredients from the local markets and it is also a menu that is culturally and geographically representative of all parts of Thailand. Therefore, guests will explore dishes from all regions and have the chance to taste all the flavors of Thai cooking.
Jason Scott: We just launched monthly specials aimed at offering our customers more authentic and unique Mexican Street Food. We’re talking Lengua Tacos, Mole Tacos, Tamales, Chicharrons and so on and so forth.
What are your favorite items on the menus?
Chef Seadon Shouse: My favorite items on the menu are the Cured and Smoked Seafood and Meats, Saffron Rigatoni with Lobster and Trumpet Mushrooms, and Blue Cod with shaved Brussels Sprouts, Winter Vegetables and Apple Cider Sauce.
Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri: On the current menu, my favorite dish is the “Kau-Kling” Berkshire Baby Ribs. It reminds me of the meals I had when I came back from school. I would eat while watching TV and I would intentionally eat it very slowly so I didn’t have to start my homework. My mom always complained and my excuse was that the ribs were very spicy so I had to take my time eating it. At Pinto Garden, the slow cooked ribs are marinated with a special blend of spicy Thai herbs found in the Southern region of Thailand. It is intensely flavorful!
Jason Scott: The Berenjena Torta, a toasted Mexican sandwich with crispy eggplant, chipotle salsa, white onion, pickled jalapeno, avocado, crema and black beans.
What was the first restaurant in New York that you ever worked at?
Chef Seadon Shouse: The Hudson Hotel.
Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri: I used to work as a busboy at Spice in University Place back in the day when I was still in school. That was the first experience in restaurant industry. As a professional chef, my first restaurant was Pinto on Christopher Street and I learned to be a chef through my best friend who worked at Jean-Georges. That was my introduction to the culinary world.
Jason Scott: Vermont Sandwich Company in Williston, Vermont.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Chef Seadon Shouse: My favorite part of my job is working with new fresh ingredients when they become available for the season or for the first time that I have seen them.
Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri: I really like the prep time. It’s the time that I have a chance to talk and share stories with my team and really connect with them. Sharing life experiences by creating menus and recipes — that’s the best part of my job.
Jason Scott: Engaging with our customers.
When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
Chef Seadon Shouse: I like to go foraging with my wife in my free time. We forage for mushrooms, wild berries, seaweeds, mussels. When I have a few days off I like to go scuba diving and spearfishing in the Caribbean.
Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri: I like to go to gym, meet up with my friends and try out new restaurants. I also love playing with my dog, Birkin.
Jason Scott: Being outdoors with my twin five-year olds.
Aside from your own, do you have a favorite restaurant?
Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri: Yes, there are many restaurants I like. It depends on cuisine though but for seafood I like Pearl Oyster Bar, for Spanish cuisine I go to Sevilla Restaurant & Bar, for French cuisine I like to go to Claudette and for Japanese cuisine I like to go to Blue Ribbon. I love to eat out!
Jason Scott: Peekamoose in Big Indian, New York.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Chef Seadon Shouse: If you are an aspiring chef make sure you are fully committed to putting in the time and energy it takes to be successful. Stay current with what’s in season and where your food is coming from.
Chef Teerawong (Yo) Nanthavatsiri: I would love people to know that we are a small business trying to support other local small business such as vendors and farmers. We believe that paying attention to details, especially the ingredients is very important for a restaurant and that the local vendors and farmers will provide the best ingredients for us to incorporate in our Thai recipes. Also at both Pinto Garden and Pinto, the dishes represent all regions of Thailand. For example, we have the “KO-RAE” Chicken Wings, fried chicken wings marinated with Southern Thai spices; Koi Neur, a dish that’s traditionally found in the Northeast region of Thailand featuring a filet mignon tartare topped with a quail egg and dressed in mint, kaffir, shallots, spicy lime and fish sauce; and Pumpkin Vegetarian Curry commonly found in the Central region of Thailand using baked root vegetable, kabocha pumpkin and homemade Panang curry paste. We try our best to create Thai dishes that you can’t find anywhere else in New York City.
Jason Scott: Eat more tacos!