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Soho House New York’s Paul Gerard is a Chefs Chef

New York 10/7/2011 3:17:18 AM

Last weekend the top dogs in the culinary world converged on New York City to partake and perform in the NYCWFF, the New York City Wine & Food Festival. After a few days of eating, drinking and jumping through hoops on the circuit of one of the largest food festivals in the country,  founder Lee Schrager threw the chefs an after party at the famed international members club Soho House.

We caught up with Soho House New York’s Executive Chef Paul Gerard to get his take on preparing for such an event, and to ask him what it’s like preparing a menu for notables such as Bobby Flay, Andrew Zimmern, and Giada Delaurentiis, not to mention all the biggest names still manning the stoves of New York City’s top hot spots for food fanatics!

“The festivities, bites, bits, small cups and canapé’s can leave someone yearning, even after a full day of “eating,” to go grab a slice,” Gerard explains. “I wanted the chefs to feel at home. To be comfortable and not have to stand over a server and scarf a tray of appetizers dressed daintily with micro herbs to feel satisfied.”

His menu, he says, was meant to be both decadent and down-to-earth, and was inspired by food one would crave at “three in the morning with a half a head on. Drunk food, basically.” It included Coney Island clam sandwiches, New Orleans Muffulettas, meatball sliders and BLT banh-mi’s, a raw bar, and a large carving station of dry-aged rib-eyes.

The menu was also meant to encapsulate almost 30 years of kitchen experience, a culinary career that began in Brooklyn when Gerard was 13 and includes a decade spent in New Orleans working with notable local chefs Susan Spicer, John Besh and Donald Link, his travels throughout the world, and his return to the city of his birth.

Paul Gerard Executive Chef stated “I got to turn one of the most exclusive members clubs in the world into a New York City block party!” The attendees went home happy, satiated and a little bit tipsy, and Lee Schrager summed it all up succinctly with a to the point tweet: "best chef after party ever!"

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