This week we were able to track down John DeLucie, one of the New York food scene’s busiest and best chefs and restaurateurs, to talk about his latest project, Bedford & Co. Located a few blocks from Grand Central Terminal, Bedford & Co. specializes in wood-fire cooking, with rich, dark wood and mouthwateringly smoky smells dominating the dimly lit space in the Renwick Hotel.
Lucky for us, chef DeLucie took some time to talk with us about opening a new restaurant, his inspiration in crafting the menu, and how delivery.com’s technology plays a role in his business. And lucky for everyone, this soon-to-be NYC staple delivers. So order up a pork chop, find yourself a comfy seat, and keep reading below!
delivery.com: First, thanks so much for answering our questions. We imagine things must get pretty hectic right after opening a new restaurant. Can you talk a little about what the last few months have been like since Bedford & Co. opened?
Chef DeLucie: The usual: long days, some sleepless nights, many hiccups and screw-ups that happen during an opening. And there’s the endless lack of storage space… and the wood! Where do we put all that wood??!!
delivery.com: As a veteran chef and restaurateur, what inspired you to open Bedford & Co.?
Chef DeLucie: I was in Argentina and Uruguay last year and was profoundly inspired by all the cooking that was going over a natural wood fire. I wanted to do that right away. An opportunity presented itself to install a Grillworks wood grill at 40th and Lex in the newly renovated Renwick hotel and I took it.
delivery.com: How is this different from past projects?
Chef DeLucie: Midtown presents its own set of opportunities and challenges in that it’s a high density neighborhood with a lot of fast food options. We offer something different and therein lies the challenge.
delivery.com: Can you talk about your process for designing the menu? Where’d the dishes come from, and what are some of your favorites?
Chef DeLucie: It all starts with the wood grill — how much food we can cook on there, what works best based on seasonality. The pork chop is the best you will find, dry aged steaks, an impossibly juicy burger, shrimp, and, of course, the Branzino grilled and served whole.
delivery.com: With all of your experience in the restaurant industry, what’s it been like to watch how technology has changed things — from taking online orders to having them delivered via Uber — and what are your thoughts on how it plays a role in your business?
Chef DeLucie: I try to embrace all the high tech stuff as much as possible. It’s not a natural thing for me, but take delivery.com for example: it’s extremely progressive and forward, but the bottom line is the practicality of it from our side and from the side of the consumer. This is paramount for our business. Me, I remain pathetically low tech.
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