Joe Ogrodnek
Joe Ogrodnek

Joe Ogrodnek

Restaurant: Battersby, Dover (Read a review) Location: Brooklyn Why He's Amazing: Because from Battersby's tiny Brooklyn kitchen, he and his co-chef Walker Stern are turning out creative, market-fresh dishes that outshine those at many high-end Manhattan restaurants. Culinary School: The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY) background: Union Square Café, Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, Gramercy Tavern (/sites/default/files/ew York City); Anella (Brooklyn) Quintessential Dish: Crisp kale salad with kohlrabi, brussels sprouts and peanuts at Battersby How Kale Can Taste So Good: Some leaves are raw, others are flash-fried until crisp. They're all tossed with a dressing made with bird chiles, palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Aha Moment: "At the start of 2011–end of 2010, Walker was briefly working with me at Anella. It was so different from any other restaurant we had worked in: not in Manhattan, a really small restaurant with a minimal budget. So we were like, 'We could do this. It's the direction restaurants are going in anyway.' We could have had a big restaurant in Manhattan in a long time or we could do this immediately." On Working at Alain Ducasse: Says his co-chef Stern: “In that kind of kitchen there’s one guy who just cooks fish. That’s it. He just cooks fish.” Ogrodnek continues: “There’s another guy who just does the fish sauce. That’s it. Sometimes there are two guys doing nothing but the fish sauce, because it’s a crazy sauce. Which is kind of crazy when you think that here we do everything ourselves.”
Chef Joe Ogrodnek (BNC class of 2014) pulls out all the stops with this next-level eggplant dish. First he seasons the eggplant and lets it sit before charring on the grill to draw out moisture and add flavor from the inside out. Then he adds plenty of crispy-crunchy texture to the silky grilled eggplant by stuffing each one with peanuts, fried shallots and garlic, fresh herbs, onions, and radishes before drizzling the punchy dressing on top. Delicious hot or room temperature, they’re perfect for your next summer cookout. Be sure to using hot water in the dressing to help dissolve the sweet, floral coconut palm sugar.Related: More Eggplant Recipes
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