Gothamist interviews John DeLucie today and learns how he went from being a miserable insurance-firm recruiter to becoming the chef at the Waverly Inn and selling his memoir to the powerful food-book editor Dan Halpern. DeLucie says he wishes his biscuits got more attention (okay, they’re good) and explains why the Waverly’s menu is so traditional:
Before we renovated the Waverly, my partners Graydon Carter, Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode, talented visionary guys who are very involved in the restaurant, and I thought about what the food might be and we always knew it would be sort of traditional American fare. Then we found this menu stuffed into the floorboards while we were cleaning up, unraveled it, dusted it off and we saw this menu, probably from 20 years ago. On the menu was chicken pot pie, oysters, steaks, so that was it. The rest was easy – we just reinterpreted it and made it as good as it can be.
We’re thinking macaroni and cheese with truffle shavings was cheaper back then.
John DeLucie, Chef and Partner, Waverly Inn [Gothamist]