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Best New Chefs

Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek on Copper Pots and Deceptively Simple Dishes

Best New Chefs 2014 Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek

Best New Chefs 2014 Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek Photo © William Hereford

Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek of Dover in Brooklyn are two of Food & Wine's amazing 2014 Best New Chefs. Here, they reveals their current obsessions.

Alain Ducasse

JO: Walker and I met at cooking school, but we bonded when we both worked at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in Manhattan. That restaurant changed the way I look at food. Ducasse had a standard of perfection I’d never seen before. Every single resource, every tool, every pot, every ingredient was the best money could buy. There was no end to making things the best. It’s not getting the job done—it’s making something perfect.

Deceptively Simple Dishes

WS: I take simple dishes and figure out how to make them mine. At Dover and at our first restaurant, Battersby, a lot is hidden. Many of the recipes have a minimum of two dozen ingredients. We’re doing a cauliflower dish and there are 15 components in it, including both raw and fried cauliflower, verjus-infused grapes and candied pistachios.

Swan Oyster Depot

JO: Walker and I loved this restaurant when we went to San Francisco—the long marble counter, the really classic food, like crab Louie. They were so friendly: We were waiting outside and they gave us Anchor Steam beer.

French Copper Pots

WS: I wish someone would give me a set of Mauviel pots. They’re really expensive French copper pans. Their sides are thick and well insulated, which keeps the heat even. You can precook vegetables inside, then turn off the heat, and it’s almost like its own little oven that finishes the dish. mauvielusa.com.

Related: Beautiful Kitchen Tools
2013 Best New Chefs' Simplest Recipes
More Recipes from F&W's Best New Chefs

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