Brooklyn Fare, one of the hottest and most talked about NYC restaurants, has tapped chef Jared Sippel to run its Manhattan outpost located at 431-39 West 37th Street. Sippel is the current chef de cuisine at Frasca Food and Wine, the acclaimed Boulder restaurant co-owned by master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson.
The new Brooklyn Fare is slated to open in the next few months, but no one is making any promises and committing to any specific dates. The goal of the team at Brooklyn Fare is to have the grocery component of this venture ready to go and launched before any meals get served. Sippel's last day at Frasca is Saturday; he will move to NYC in the following two weeks. He expects that when the doors open at the 60 seat Manhattan restaurant (plus a 10 seat chef's table inside the basement wine cellar), he will cook for only 20 people a night for the first three months.
The menu and format will be different than what guests have experienced at the original Brooklyn Fare, matching the demands of a larger restaurants and the strengths of chef Sippel.
As a chef, Jared Sippel put his time in. He has cooked since he was thirteen years old. At first, it was small family-owned restaurants - mom-and-pop eateries where he worked through high-school. While pursuing his college degree in English at the University of Iowa, he served as chef at an Italian restaurant in Iowa City for two years. He was hooked and determined to pursue a culinary education. He enrolled in culinary school in Boulder in a program that would allow him to work abroad. While in school, he started working at Frasca, but his goal of working abroad brought him to Provence where he spent eight months working at the two Michelin star l'Oustau de Baumanière, a chateau and relais close to Avignon.
When he returned to Boulder, he went back to Frasca and worked every station for two years. In 2009, he moved to San Franscisco to open Quince, as sous chef. The restaurant quickly received a one Michelin-star rating and four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. Sippel spent fifteen months in the old Quince location and another six at the new one. "My time at Quince working with chef and owner Michael Tusk was probably my most improtant time in my career," Sippel says. "Two years at Quince is like five years anywhere else. The average cook there lasts three times less than any other comparable restaurant. It is not an easy environment. Tusk is one of the last old school chefs around" he adds.
A phone call from Frasca's Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson brought Sippel back to Colorado. "He called me and told me the restaurant was revamping the pasta program. I did not intent to move back but this was tempting. Since my return, I have served as sous chef for a year and then as chef de cuisine for the last year and a half," Sippel explained.
The relationship between chef Jarred Sippel and Brooklyn Fare began on January 5 when Sippel received an email from the restaurant. The contact was made through a head hunter and after this initial email, there was virtually daily contact between the chef and the headhunter. At that point, the team at Brooklyn Fare had been looking for the right chef for a year. They had seen the best technique and combed through many highly qualified candidates from across the country. Sippel prepared an 8-course tasting menu. It wasn't fussy. "Everything about my food is about the product and the flavor," Sippel says. "They did not want the foody stuff and fluff; they want food with soul," he adds.
The fame and recognition of Brooklyn Fare are indisputable. The restaurant received three Michelin stars, a three-star review from the New York Times, and the highest of praises from nearly every major publication. With 18 seats, this little restaurant attached to a grocery store is arguably the hardest reservation to snag in NYC. The chef, César Ramirez, serves a menu composed of small bites, 15 to 24 courses of tiny bites of seafood and in-season vegetables, broths and sauces, tinctures and herbs, inspired by fine dining in Europe as well as Japan.
The plan at the Manhattan location as of now (everyone reserved the right to change their mind) is to create a menu that features four to five appetizers, has an emphasis on pasta, validating Sippel's background, and includes about three meat-centric and three fish centric dishes. All fish would be sourced from Europe - turbot, rouget barbet and more- and the style of cuisine would combine French, Italian, and Japanese.
The news that a Colorado chef is moving to the coveted position at Brooklyn Fare Manhattan is reason of pride for the Frasca team and testament to Colorado's promising culinary pedigree. "Colorado should feel really good about this as a community, particularly considering Brooklyn Fare's caliber and the list of people who tried out for the position, which includes some of the greatest chefs in America," Bobby Stuckey, co-owner at Frasca says. "The fact that Jared got chosen as their new executive chef is a testament to the fact that you can be on the same pantheon as a restaurant in New York City and San Francisco in a market like Colorado whether it is Denver or Boulder," he adds.
This is not the first high-profile appointment of Frasca alums. "If you look at the many positions that came out only of Frasca, like sommelier Dustin Wilson who is the wine director at Eleven Madison Park, Grant Reynolds as the opening sommelier for Charlie Bird (opening in May); and Brian Lockwood who is now sous chef at Eleven Madison Park, you see that Colorado has great momentum in populating the New York food scene," Stuckey explains. "At Frasca, we value mentorship and, as owners, we're there a lot working with our staff. Jared has been to Italy with Lachlan and I several times, and we are glad we were able to provide him with that sort of mentoring opportunity," he adds.