Yesterday we spoke with chef Chris Bradley of Untitled, the newish restaurant from Danny Meyer peddling locally sourced foods, located in the Whitney Museum of Art. Chris told us all about hazing Top Chef Ilan Hall back in the day, and revealed his favorite type of pie (blueberry nectarine). Today he gives us some insights into his kitchen personality and cites his museum picks around the city.
Do you have any memories of museum dining when you were young?
I think the standard for museum dining was as good as my memories of college food. Like, food sitting under a hot lamp, wrapped in foil, or soggy tuna sandwiches. It was bad.
So why do you think museum dining has gone upscale?
I think dining at any sort of cultural institution has. If it’s a ballpark or anything where you have a captive, willing audience. People are trying to add value to that experience, which can be done with food. Working with the museum has been great and we have a guaranteed audience.
What’s it like in the kitchen at Untitled? Are you a calm chef or are you a yeller?
I see myself as a teacher. I’m above yelling. There’s a directness that has to go on in the kitchen and figuring out how to communicate urgency is easier than demanding and yelling.
What are the best dishes on the menu?
First and foremost, the kale salad. The leaves are chopped really fine and tossed in oil and baked so they’re crispy. Then it’s mixed with roasted beets and sherry vinegar and olive oil and a yogurt vinaigrette and some roasted almonds. And if I want to be healthy for breakfast, I have the steel-cut oats. The oats have a looser hull so it’s really a raw groat and we pulverize them. We cook them in apple cider, which has a natural sweetness, and finish them in cider and milk. My decadent breakfast is the sausage, egg, and cheese, which has a four-ounce sausage patty.
What are family meals like at the restaurant?
We have our fair share of chicken legs, like every restaurant. But we’ll always do pancakes and French toast and mix it up, and we’ll have grains, rice, and barley. And we always have sandwich meats so we’ll do tuna salad sandwiches and stuff like that.
So what museum would we find you at on your day off, besides the Whitney?
I can spend a day at the Met. And the Natural History Museum is just so great to explore.