Ryan Angulo, chef at Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn

Posted on March 30, 2010 12:03 pm

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Interview by Susan Streit, De Gustibus Blogger

What was your favorite meal growing up as a child?

My mom used to make skillet pork chops with caramelized onions.

Did anyone specific influence a culinary career or encourage you to attend culinary school?

Not really. My first job was a dishwasher, so it was a natural transition. I started chopping and cooking while dish washing in high school. Afterward, it seemed like the right choice to go to Johnson and Wales.

What brought you to the New York City restaurant scene?

I was living in San Francisco for a few years and loved it there but my family is all on the East Coast.
New York seemed like the next place to go.

You worked in three successful Manhattan restaurants before Buttermilk Channel. Have you found a difference between Manhattan and Brooklyn kitchens?

Yes. But in general I try to keep my kitchen a little more relaxed than other professional kitchens.

How did you and owner Doug Crowell go about developing the menu?

We had a long time, nearly a year, to work on the menu. The restaurant building had structural issues and we had to gut the whole place, which gave us the year to collaborate on the menu. The menu came from talking a lot about what we wanted, and we spent a great deal of time walking up and down Court and Smith Streets and eating what food was there. Doug wanted something that was neighborhood friendly and not expensive–something a little different from American bistro fare, which was my mindset too. Right now I have thirty different versions of our current menu written on my personal computer, and I was constantly sending them to Doug.

Whose idea was it to include a kid’s menu?

It was Doug’s idea. The neighborhood is very kid friendly-all the strollers outside the restaurants at brunch are the perfect indicator. Doug’s daughter, who is five, is at the age where she wants to try different things on the menu. It was important to him to have that kid’s menu and to keep the restaurant casual and open to everyone.

The best item on the Buttermilk Channel menu is?

On Tuesdays we do whole roasted leg of lamb, from Jameson Farms in Pennsylvania. We get the whole lamb from the farm. The garnishes with the dish change throughout the season. Right now, for the winter, we have the lamb paired with delicata and butternut squash, and rosemary-black olive butter. This lamb is my favorite and it has been on the menu since we’ve opened.

Will you be making any changes to the menu for the spring season?

The menu looks big, but it’s really not by Brooklyn standards. Some entrees and appetizers will stay, but the garnitures will change. We’ll add more vegetables as summer comes, corn pudding, for example. Salads will change, too. I am not sure what they will change to just yet, whether they will be from last year’s menu or something completely new. We’ll begin to use ramps when they are season, and then make the transition to spring onions or fresh garlic.

Where do you like to grocery shop in the city for yourself, not the restaurant?

Fairway in Redhook, Brooklyn. They have a great seafood department and lots of organic foods. They have a great mix of gourmet products, too. I do 90% of my personal shopping there.

Here is a recipe that Ryan demonstrated while teaching his class at De Gustibus.

Grilled Kale & Endive Salad
Yield: 4 salads
Ingredients

1 bunch Kale
2 heads endive
Bread for croutons
4 eggs
Oil
Salt
Anchovy Vinaigrette

Method:
1. Drop eggs into boiling water for 7 1/2 minutes. Cool in an ice bath and peel.
2. Toss kale with a little oil and salt and grill till wilted and slightly charred. Rough chop. Separate endive and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Brush bread with oil and grill, cut into croutons about the same size as the endive.
3. Put endive, kale and croutons in a large bowl. Drizzle with a good amount of anchovy vinaigrette, season with salt and toss. Divide between 4 plates and top with a soft boiled egg split in half.




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There Are 1 Responses To Ryan Angulo, chef at Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn


Juan B. Angulo says:

June 27, 2012 at 08:44 pm

Ryan: Congratulations !!! A kiss to &quot;Boxie.&quot; Dad

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