3 questions for...Paul Liebrandt
Chef, man of mystery
Thu Sep 13 2007
Most New Yorkers haven’t tasted chef Paul Liebrandt’s daring cuisine since he left the kitchen of Gilt last year. After months of keeping a low profile, rumors of his next project—the blog Eater recently posted a $500 reward for the details—have put the 31-year-old chef back in play.
It’s been a year since you left Gilt. How have you been spending your time?
I’m on this Chinese food kick right now, practicing a lot of the classic dishes from the Ming Dynasty that are bizarre but incredible. A lot of the techniques for the food are quite enlightening as well—poaching something and then frying it and then glazing it… [I also] like the Peking duck technique used not with duck or not even with meat, with a vegetable, a carrot maybe. This isn’t new, but for me it is.
So that upcoming project…the second coming of Shun Li?
I’m not doing a Chinese restaurant. Everybody I know, my poorly paid friends in the restaurant business, have been asking me for details because they need the money [promised by Eater]. I’m like, “Hey, guys, I could do with $500 as well.” I haven’t said a word. I will confirm that yes, I am doing a project in New York City that is set to open early next year.
Word is you could give Wylie Dufresne (wd-50) a run for his money. What’s with the avant rep?I hate that word avant-garde, I’m not an enfant terrible. I cook French food. Modern French food, sure, but it’s French food.… It’s no different from anything that Wylie or anybody else is doing. I’m not creative for creative’s sake.