engines of gastronomy

Commerce’s Athanor Oven Is a Chef Magnet

athandor oven

Want a ride, hon?Photo: Melissa Hom

Commerce isn’t the first restaurant you would expect to spend almost $100,000 on a world-class custom oven, but chef Harold Moore says “it’s good for the chef’s ego.” He’s only half-joking: “We need serious cooks here, and they don’t get much money, so we need some serious equipment. It gives us an edge in getting them and keeping them.”

Commerce’s Athanor oven and range is a dream for cooks: Its huge flattop service allows for all the pots and pans you want to be heated at once, and its fire-brick lined oven is so well insulated that it even has a 50-pound door that opens and closes via counterweights. There are two inset gas burners, a pasta cooker, and a plancha for searing — but the main thing Moore likes about it is its famous durability. “We don’t like recurring costs here,” he says. “I’d rather pay extra to get the right thing the first time around. As you can see, I’m spoiled.”

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