The Top Chef truck made the first of two stops in Union Square today, complete with season four's Andrew D'Ambrosi and Richard Blais, who was eager to talk about his Atlanta burger joint, Flip, which is set to open in a few weeks. "We're hopefully trying to get a New York outpost,” he says. “We have the financing, just have to work on the location and timing." Blais hopes to distinguish his burger joint from others by introducing the world’s first liquid-nitrogen milkshake bar. While he’s in town, he’ll be eating at Shake Shack, of course. "I love the meat at Shake Shack. Now I'm so into the whole burger thing. I don't like all parts of every different place, but at Shake Shack, I love the meat."
As for D'Ambrosi, he's “working like a dog” at Le Cirque, where Christophe Bellanca reigned until recently. “Chef Bellanca is the hardest-working chef I've ever worked with in my whole entire life,” says D’Ambrosi. “I don't worry about him and his future, because I know his caliber and he is almost unmatched.” Clearly, Bellanca inspires a “culinary boner” in D’Ambrosi, as does Corton. “Paul Liebrandt's food is fucking amazing,” D’Ambrosi said, adding that his dream restaurant would be modeled after a spot like JoeDoe: “It's 26 seats, the chef, his sous, his girl's running front of house, and that's it. Just you and translating your vision.”
Related: Top Chef: New York Preview