We recently got in with the team at Marea and had a great conversation with Jared Gadbaw, the Chef de Cuisine at Michael White’s famous restaurant. Marea is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC and one of the hardest tables to get. Come here for divine seafood and Italian cuisine. Let’s hear what Jared had to say:
1) Tell us what your typical day looks like from when you wake up to when you go to bed.
If I don’t open the restaurant at 8am, I usually wake up at 9 and do some light exercise/stretching as well and some maintenance in my garden. I get to work about 10:30, go through invoices and greet the staff. Its staff meal at 11, then set up the line for lunch service. I expedite lunch and dinner service Monday-Friday and try to spend the short time between services either working on new dishes or dealing with daily issues, of which there never seems to be a shortage. I normally leave around 1030pm so I can spend an hour or so with my girlfriend before going to bed.
2) You’re the executive chef at Marea, one of the hardest to get reservations in the city, so your nights must be pretty busy, how do you keep your stamina up throughout the day and evening?
I don’t go out very much anymore so the consistent sleep is probably the best thing I do because I don’t eat very well at work. We do between 450-550 covers/day and everybody works so hard that there really isn’t any time for being tired.
3) If you had to describe Marea with three adjectives, what would they be?
Relentless, challenging, satisfying.
4) What’s your most favorite dish to cook in the restaurant?
I’d have to say the tagliolini with clams and calamari. It is such a simple pasta with only 5 ingredients but to coax the proper flavors in the proper quantities while making sure it is not too dry and the thin pasta is not over cooked… It is also my favorite pasta to eat right now so maybe that has something to do with it.
5) Is there one ingredient that you cannot cook without?
For me, onions. My sous chefs make fun of me all the time for always finding ways to incorporate them in new dishes. There are so many different flavors that can be achieved through different cooking techniques and caramelizing.
6) Is there any ingredient that you personally despise?
I would say ramps but I think Stupak already used them in his interview, so I guess I will go with white pepper. It tastes so dirty to me and tends to over power everything.
7) Do you see yourself being a chef for “forever” or do you have any other career aspirations?
Unless my golf game somehow improves dramatically, I couldn’t think of any other thing I would rather do than cook and create.
8) What advice would you give to an aspiring chef or restaurateur?
Be self-motivated and don’t cut corners.
9) When you’re not eating in the restaurant, where else are you eating in NYC?
I eat a lot of Asian food. I think Minca Ramen on 5th st would be my go-to local comfort meal. I’ve also never been disappointed in Dovetail. Fraser is a magician with vegetables.