10 Ways to Be a NYC Restaurant Bad Boy (or Girl)

Random area? Funky exterior? All can help boost your chef street credit.
Random area? Funky exterior? All can help boost your chef street credit.

We know: You went to culinary school hoping to woo ladiez (or dudez) with your chef skillz, didn't you? Unfortunately, now you've graduated, and all you have is a job where you bust your ass on the line only to hang up your Crocs and pass out on your couch, Tindr still open on your cell phone, Top Chef reruns playing on TV, and nary a drink invitation in sight. Cheer up: There's no guaranteed way to net and attain a legion of gastronomic fanboys and girls, but there are a few things new kitchen artists can do to help their chances of commanding the allegiance of the fooderati. Here are 10 ways to become a NYC bad boy (or girl).

If an area is sketch central, there's probably a great restaurant lurking nearby
If an area is sketch central, there's probably a great restaurant lurking nearby

10. Open your first restaurant in a place that is sketchy Call it Roberta's Syndrome, but it seems that picking a gritty area for your charming offbeat concept is practically required if you want to hit a home run. Perhaps it bumps up guest perceptions: By the time they actually walk through the doors, they're overwhelmed with relief that they've made it. If you're forced to traverse an industrial wasteland before settling down for homemade mozzarella, that cheese is going to blow your mind.

Adny Ricker discussing his Thailand adventuresEXPAND
Adny Ricker discussing his Thailand adventures

9. Spend time cooking abroad -- bonus points for winning the approval of the locals Ivan Orkin and Andy Ricker are two prime examples of people who went to a foreign land and are now crushing it in the food world. Yes, it's great to hear about a formally trained graduate kicking ass in fine dining institutions, but current food culture embraces the exotic. And going outside the traditional schools of cooking is easier to do in countries that aren't France or the United States. If all else fails, you can still talk about your time in the Ghanian wilds with the smug superiority of an exceptionally cultured individual.

Are these guys hobos...or amazing chefs?
Are these guys hobos...or amazing chefs?
Dominic Perri

8. Get a beard and forearm tattoo Chefs should be judged by the decisions they make in the walk-in fridge and not the walk-in closet, but proclaiming your love for pork, carrots, salt, or foie gras by making a permanent alteration to your body establishes that you're drop dead serious about your craft. And why have a butchery chart on your wall when you can have it on your chest?



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