Yesterday we spoke with Crown chef John Delucie about fine dining and customers who order $125 steaks for their dogs. Today we shift gears as he tells us about his favorite neighborhood haunts and how he feels about gracing the silver screen.
What do you think about chefs on television?
I don’t watch a whole lot of TV just because I don’t have time. But it does wonders for your business and fills your restaurants. I love being in the restaurant — the immediate gratification and watching your business grow and watching people; that whole experience is cool. TV takes patience and you have to be on. It’s a whole different skill set. I do the Today show once a month or so and it’s great. New York is so competitive that you need to do that stuff. It’s not an option. Hey, I was on Gossip Girl. It’s unbelievably great fun and you can’t believe how many people watch that show.
And where do you like to dine in the city?
I’m a creature of habit. I try to eat at all the new places, but I go to the same three places. I’m at Sant Ambroeus right now. I live in the West Village, so Minetta and Morandi. All the Italian spots. And I love dim sum. I like Dim Sum Go Go a lot, and then I have some more authentic places as well.
Besides New York, what are some of your favorite cities for eating?
I like to go to Miami because it’s warm in the winter. I like L.A. because the weather is perfect. And I have day-tripped to Providence to eat at Al Forno. I’ve been to Maine. I love going to Europe; Italy is my absolute favorite place to go. And San Francisco, I can’t forget that. It’s my second favorite.
What’s your drink of choice post-work?
You know, I’m a teetotaler. I’m at the gym early in the morning. A glass of wine is a big night for me.
Are you working on any new projects?
We are — several things. I can’t really speak of any of them now, but we get lots of phone calls. I’m always looking for the next right thing. Probably in a few weeks I can say more.
You published a memoir a few years ago. What was that process like?