Former Top Chef winner Hung Huynh is still cooking at Solo, but he’s planning to open his own kosher restaurant in the spring. “We’re still working on the details of it. We’re expecting to open in spring but I can’t reveal the location yet,” he said at the Children of Chernobyl gala earlier this week. Last we heard, Huynh was going to open a seafood restaurant but it looks like he’ll keep kosher for now. “Kosher cooking is very interesting and challenging, so I have a lot of fun with it,” he said, before Moshe Malamud of the Franklin Mint interrupted to swoon over Huynh’s gefilte fish. “I ordered everything on Solo’s menu except the gefilte fish, because who wants to walk into a kosher restaurant and actually order gefilte fish? Hung comes over to the table with two portions of gefilte fish and it was the most incredible piece of fish I have ever eaten,” he recounted. “It was halibut.” Huynh was quick to clarify his menu: “I don’t do Jewish food; I do kosher food. I work with guidelines and don’t try to do anything too traditional.” To wit: his sweetbreads with carrot purée, tea leaves, shiitake mushrooms, and a red-wine beef sauce. Plus, kosher food made by a Vietnamese-born chef with French training might help the Middle East peace process. “We have a lot of Muslim guests and non-Jewish guests coming in, too,” he said. “I please all around.”
Correction: It seems crowd noise caused a miscommunication between Hung and our freelancer.