Cityhouse Executive Chef a Newbie at NYC Wine & Food Festival

The third annual NYC Wine & Food Festival kicked off last night, but the real fun didn’t start until today. What started three years ago as a one-night event is now one of the top festivals in NYC. There are more than 100 food-related events going down this weekend – New York foodies shall be properly fed! To honor the occasion, we caught up with Fabio Capparelli, Executive Chef of cityhouse, who, at the age of 28, is one of the youngest chefs to participate in the festival. cityhouse (the lower case is part of the appeal, we guess) is just as new on the scene, having opened in early March this year across the street from Carnegie Hall, and is perhaps one of the city’s most underrated restaurants. They just rolled out a fall menu (expect tons of braising and risotto, thanks to the strong European clientele), and plan to offer sidewalk seating for those who want unbroken views of Carnegie Hall. This is Fabio’s first year at the festival, which he considers a true honor, especially considering he’s participating in The Grand Tasting on Saturday with other notable restaurants and chefs. We’d send you, but it sold out weeks ago. Best to check out cityhouse.

You are one of the youngest chefs to participate in the Festival. How does that make you feel ? This is my first time at the festival. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m excited to be involved and grow in this business. It’ll also be great to work with the other chefs and restaurants.

Tell us about your culinary background. I’ve been in a kitchen since I was 7 years old. My father is a chef. I went to the Culinary Institute of America and then earned an opportunity to head west to California, worked out there for a year, then came back to new York, where I worked at the Castle on the Hudson, Roy’s New York, and BLT Steak at The Ritz Carlton Westchester prior to cityhouse.

What are you preparing for the Grand Tasting Event? I am preparing a Kaffir Lime Crab Salad with a Truffle Ponzu and Ikura Caviar. I wanted to do something light, flavorful, and memorable that would entice people to come check out cityhouse.

What are your favorite dishes at cityhouse? I enjoy braising, so that’s something I incorporated into my new fall menu, which includes two of my favorite plates: Tomahawk Short rib with potato au gratin and Colorado lamb shanks with a truffle corn flan.

How long have you been the Executive Chef at cityhouse? It’s been about 9 months. I opened cityhouse back in February and it’s been great to be with the restaurant from the beginning, to watch it grow and evolve.

What can readers expect from the festival? It’s going to be an incredible showcase of the city’s restaurants with amazing tastes to samples, so your readers are in for a treat!

What are your favorite restaurants in New York and why? Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Although it’s not in New York City, its absolutely amazing – innovative presentation, quality freshness, and a great atmosphere. it reminds me of my childhood and how my parents and grandparents always used the vegetables in our garden for our meals. Inatesso Café has the best pizza! Sicilian Style, flat, not too thick, very fresh sauce, and just the right amount or cheese and herbs. Morimoto‘s food is fantastic. The flavors and textures are incredible.

What is your favorite thing to eat at home ? Pancakes!!! Especially when mom makes them!

NYC Openings: cityhouse, Kastel, Gant Rugger

cityhouse (Midtown West) – Power breakfasts and wood-fired steaks at the Park Central Hotel. ● Kastel (Soho) – Quattro peeps drop a sexy, grown-up lounge at Trump SoHo. Yes, they’re serving quintuple-distilled Trump Vodka. ● Gant Rugger (West Village) – Swiss clothier raids its archives for classic Americana.