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A Reading of the Times’ Paul Liebrandt Profile

Helming the Elm.

Helming the Elm.Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

In advance of the mid-summer opening of the Elm, the chef's first new restaurant in five years, the Times pens a profile of Paul Liebrandt that picks apart his relationship with Corton partner Drew Nieporent. “My whole thing has always been about accessibility and making it easier on the guest,” the legendary restaurateur says. “This has been a challenge. Because his food is anything but accessible. It takes submission.” What that sounds like — more than anything else — is that Nieporent has issues with Liebrandt's food, but that the chef will not change his cooking style.

In any event, we learn that Liebrandt, who told Grub Street in January that his "odd childhood" is partially to blame for his unusual palate, is well-respected by fellow chefs like Danny Bowien. Meanwhile, Liebrandt claims "I couldn’t be more far from being Brooklyn" between various talking points that cover everyone from Cy Twombly to Robert Smith of the Cure, which of course makes the chef sound patently Williamsburg-esque.

Basically, the takeaway is that Liebrandt can cook and the photos of the food from his upcoming restaurant look great: There's a beautiful disc of foie gras with pistachio and plum; turbot for two à la française, the fish separated by a layer of green and garnished with fresh peas. There's also a great-looking bacon, pea, and onion dish. Check it all out over here.

An Unapologetic Artist [NYT]
Earlier: Paul Liebrandt on Fine Dining and Corton, the Greatness of Mission Chinese Food, and the Elm
Earlier: Paul Liebrandt Opening New Restaurant, the Elm, in Williamsburg]

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