The Grand Central Oyster Bar in NYC is a respite for business men (and women), commuters and oyster lovers alike. As you may have guessed, GCOB serves American seafood cuisine. It is the largest raw bar in NYC maybe in the USA, and possibly the freshest and largest seafood restaurant in NYC and quite possibly be offering some discount coupons for their restaurant. It has quite a long history since it opened in 1913 and has been there ever since. Just how does a restaurant in Manhattan stay open successfully that long? It certainly has to do with the Chef. Currently, Sandy Ingber heads the helm of this established institution. We caught up with Sandy to find out exactly what it takes to make it in such a well established NYC landmark.
FriendsEAT: Sandy, we know you’ve been in the industry for a good amount of time, where else have you worked at?
Sandy Ingber: Mariner’sIinn, Northport, Long Island, NY 195 Things to Eat, 195 Broadway, NYC, NY Club at Citicorp Center, NYC Pelican Pete’s Rest., Boulder Colorado
FE: Did you cook growing up?
FE: Who in your life has influenced your cooking the most?
SI: Joeseph Boches, Boulder Colorado, CIA ’72, died 2000
FE: What made you decide you would become a professional cook?
SI: Worked at teenager and early 20’s as cook in restaurants, then my best friend told me he was going to chef school, CIA. I said what’s that? We ended up going together to CIA, graduated ’77 and the rest is history.
FE: What misconceptions do people have coming into the field?
SI: Glamorous job, high profile. Needless to say, it is long, hot and hard hours and is anything but glamorous. This is a field of dedicated people who only succeed with heart. this usually weeds out the people who can’t handle it fairly fast.
SI: Learn knife skills. Most important factor in cooking.
FE: Which three cooking tools or gadgets are your favorites?
FE: Funniest kitchen incident?
SI: Called my fellow sous-chef “bud”. He resented it so much he quit without saying anything. Needless to say, i almost never call anyone “bud”
FE: Favorite food to cook with?
FE: When at home, what do you like to eat?
FE: Your favorite cookbook?
FE: Is there a specific etiquette in your kitchen that you pride yourself in?
SI: Treat people the way you would want them to treat you.
FE: We’d like to thank Chef Ingber for his time and for sharing his Ancho-Coffee Rub recipe with us. I can’t wait to try it out.
CHEF SANDY INGBER’S ANCHO-COFFEE RUB
– 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
– 2 tablespoons Instant espresso powder
– 2 tablespoons dark beorn sugar
– 1 tablespoon ground coriander
– 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
– 1 ½ teaspoons salt
– 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
– ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
-Mix all ingredients in a small bowl
-Can be made 1 week ahead, Cover and store at room temperature this recipe is great with tuna or swordfish
Craving some oysters? Head to the restaurant, it is located at Grand Central Station’s Lower Level NYC, NY 10017 212-490-6650