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Inside Chefs Club

Food & Wine's new restaurant uses design to erase the chef-guest barrier.

For its high-budget second location in New York City, Food & Wine deferred to famed architect David Rockwell to design a supper club that “allows every guest to feel like a part of the [culinary] process,” says Business Development Manager Louise Vongerichten. That meant paying homage and setting a stage for the featured chefs who rotate through its kitchens.

Visitor dishes

During short stints, past F&W Best New Chef winners bring local flavor, as in this squab by Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland, Ore.

Chef showcase

“Like a Broadway show, the kitchen is our stage,” says Vongerichten. Out-front cooking engages the target clientele: innate foodies. Elsewhere in the space, a 24-seat Chef’s Studio, unique to the flagship, hosts more intimate events.  

A place of honor

Its home in the city’s landmark Puck Building didn’t impede the design, says Vongerichten, allowing for curated installations, such as the rock of Himalayan salt imported from Pakistan suspended above the a la carte dining room. The vitrines, including a collage of chef photos and a display in the Chef’s Studio that showcases favorite objects of visiting chefs, were “built upon elements linked to the art of cooking,” she says. Other design details—raw concrete, cast-iron columns, exposed brick—complement the historic space.

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