Linda Domingo 2016-12-08 03:46:08
CELEBRATED RESTAURATEUR ANDREW CARMELLINI GIVES INSIGHT INTO HIS SUCCESSFUL CAREER AND EXCITING NEW UNDERTAKING WITH SAGAMORE PENDRY BALTIMORE. "Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” The words of legendary Italian director Federico Fellini are a fitting description for the journey of chef and restaurateur Andrew Carmellini. With more than 20 years of cooking experience (at restaurants including Cafe Boulud, The Dutch and Bar Primi), extensive world travels, two James Beard Awards, a Food & Wine Best New Chef title and a Michelin star under his belt, the New York-based Carmellini is a force in the culinary world, earning accolades from The New York Times and praise for his recipe books, which mix approachable recipes with a fine dining sensibility. His goals throughout his career—whether hunting for truffles in Italy, working with his boulanger or dreaming up cocktails—have always remained the same: to have fun and make people happy. In 2017, the chef brings that attitude to The Rec Pier Chop House, Baltimore’s new dining destination inside the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore. The Italian restaurant will blend Carmellini’s worldly influences and down-to-earth personality in an environment infused with Baltimore’s charm. Pendry Magazine spoke to the chef about his experience, inspiration and what diners can expect from his latest endeavor. Pendry Magazine: You’ve done everything in the culinary industry from work the line to earn Michelin stars. What would you say has been the most fun? Andrew Carmellini: The creative process is always the most fun for me. That means everything from the creation of the food to the design concepts and the team building. It’s what makes the process so fun and dynamic. PM: What would you say is your biggest achievement, and why? AC: I think opening our first restaurant [Locanda Verde] in New York City was probably the biggest step I ever took and it was also the most fulfilling. PM: Your experience spans the globe and isn’t easily categorized. How does your eclectic background align with the Pendry Hotels brand? AC: In the end, good service and good vibes are universal. It doesn’t matter if you are serving caviar or a burger—it’s about vibes. PM: What can diners expect of The Rec Pier Chop House at the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore? AC: This will be my fifth restaurant in a hotel. [Other restaurants have included Locanda Verde in Robert De Niro’s The Greenwich Hotel, and Little Park and Evening Bar at Smyth, A Thompson Hotel.] … The most important thing to me is for the restaurant to be a neighborhood place and, at the same time, take care of the hotel guests. It’s all about great service and tasty Italian food. PM: Wine and cocktails seem to play a significant role at a number of your concepts. Will we see that manifest at The Rec Pier Chop House? AC: I always like to have a cocktail and wine list that integrates seamlessly with the kind of food I want to serve. I believe the drinks should tell a good story while simultaneously mixing what you want to drink. There should be a sense of discovery. PM: The Rec Pier Chop House will be your first restaurant in Baltimore. What attracts you to the city? AC: Baltimore has guts and a real sense of place. I like that. There is amazing food in the city—I love Thames Street Oyster House in Fell’s Point and LP Steamers, a family-owned crab shack in Locust Point. The state of Maryland has some great local ingredients and people who love to eat. It’s the perfect combination that makes a great environment for chefs, and I’m excited to be a part of that.
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