Oct 27, 2010
Chef Ed Brown
Interview by Linda Sarris
Chef Ed Brown is the Chef-Collaborator at Ed’s Chowder House on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He prepared a tasting of seafood-focused dishes paired with wines from the Kobrand Corporation. We started out with a bowl of Ed’s Loaded Shellfish Chowder and their famous biscuits. This is one of the traditional chowders on the restaurant’s menu. The loaded chowder is a white clam chowder base with the addition of scallops, shrimp, lobster, and crabmeat. The first recipe demonstration was a Marinated Hamachi with Yuzu, White Soy and Ginger “Milk”. Chef Ed prepared a Salmon Fillet Poached in Olive Oil with a fresh Tomato Mint Salad. The best part of the menu was Ed’s famous Scallop and Foie Gras Ravioli with Yellow Wine Beurre Blanc. This is a traditional item that he’s used at his previous restaurants. It was derived from a bay scallop ravioli that he learned to make while working in Paris. The foie gras comes from the Hudson Valley Foie Gras farm and he used wonton wrappers for the ravioli. Executive Chef John Miele joined Chef Ed on stage to prepare the dessert dish. He made an Apple Tart, which was an adaptation of a traditional French Tarte Tatin.
How often do you change the menu at Ed’s Chowder House?
That’s a great question because actually at this restaurant, very infrequently. The thing about the Chowder House is we’re trying to be an institute that if you come back six years from now you get the same thing. Of course seasonally there are changes. I always have three chowders; the white clam, the red crab, and a vegetarian - which right now is a squash, but in the summer and fall it’s corn. There are seasonal changes only. The core of the menu always stays the same.
What’s your favorite dish currently on the menu?
Cape Cod Potato Chip Crusted Chatham Cod
How big is your staff in the kitchen?
Where do you like to eat in New York?
I like to eat at Gennaro a little tiny Italian place on the Upper West Side. I like to eat at Food Parc a new casual fast concept and a new restaurant Bar Basque.
Where does the seafood for the restaurant come from?
All of my seafood comes from the East coast, primarily the Northeast coast; Boston, Maine, Rhode Island, and Long Island. The hamachi I get from Japan and I use that for special dinners. The thing about Chowder House is everything we do is products from the East Coast. On the menu, everything is from the North East.
What advise do you have for young cooks?
Work in great kitchens and don’t worry about money. Don’t worry too much about being creative just yet. See what other people are doing and form your own opinions.