Thoughts from a tired, happy, humbled chef.

Thoughts from a tired, happy, humbled chef.

A few weeks ago we found out we were named to the OpenTable Top 100 Restaurants in America. It’s been a whirlwind since then. Absolutely overwhelming. I can tell you the phone has not stopped ringing. The well wishes and congratulations have been monumental to Melissa and I, and The Talgos. I didn’t know I knew as many people as have reached out to pat us on the back. Damn. Here are the answers to a few questions that some folks have asked me in the last few days. “Why do you think The Tailor and the Cook has garnered such high praises?” I don’t think – I know: Our team – each and every one who calls this restaurant home, is a tirelessly dedicated hospitality professional. We start work earlier, we finish later. We work long, hard hours and we do it because we really love this restaurant life. It’s crazy, but while most are home at rest or out at play, we are here, at work. And the hours we put in are reflected in the product we put out. Plain and simple. This staff is absolutely second to none. The cream of the crop. If you have ever dined with us, you know exactly what I mean. It is really rewarding to be surrounded by people who care just as much about food and service as I do. “How does it feel to be named one of the Top 100 Restaurants in America?” It’s pretty darn cool; I’m not going to lie. But here is the thing – we were awarded this accolade by our guests. The people that we work hard to please on each visit. They are the ones...
The Tailor and the Cook Named a Top 100 Restaurant in America

The Tailor and the Cook Named a Top 100 Restaurant in America

The Tailor and the Cook in Utica is pleased to announce that we’ve won a 2014 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award for Americas Top 100 Restaurants.  Determined by more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners over the last year, the Top Restaurant honorees each bested more than 20,000 restaurants. We are so proud to be listed among many of our favorite restaurants, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, and Eleven Madison Park in New York City. “We are thrilled that The Tailor and the Cook has been recognized for excellence by OpenTable diners, and we look forward to introducing others to our unique brand of provocative local fare,” says owner and executive chef Tim Hardiman. Thanks to all the diners who have helped The Tailor and the Cook earn this accolade in the U.S. and in Utica....
A tree lies down.

A tree lies down.

I had the chance to help a good friend the other day. As busy as our life has become, it’s nice to find the time to help others out. And so, on this unseasonably warm November day, Fionn and I helped Deb lay the fig tree down for the winter. It’s quite a process. Now, it should be said that we arrived late to the hibernation party, and one of two fig trees was already slumbering sweetly for the long Utica winter. Are you asking what this process is all about? I will tell it to you, best I can. Fig trees grow well in CNY. They bear good fruit, but it’s the winter that they can’t handle. In native fig climes, the winters aren’t so harsh. But here, the tree needs to be protected from the deep winters we know and love. So, you dig it up. And you lay it down, prostrate to the ground. You cover it with leaves and earth, and you bid it adieu until the next spring. It really is a somber event, the last of the season’s chores. The garden is turned; its bounty has been canned, preserved, put up. The storm windows are put on, the leaves are raked. The beans have been shelled, and the wood is split and stacked for the long winter. But before the ground freezes hard, the time for the fig tree’s burial remains. And make no mistake; this is not a one person job. Which brings me to tree number two. This is a special tree. The old fig tree from Elizabeth Street. It’s the...
Something is fishy in Central New York…

Something is fishy in Central New York…

When we opened the Tailor and the Cook, we committed to using local products whenever possible.  It was a choice we made for many reasons, chief among them being sustainability.  It’s important to know that the food we eat has a future, that it will keep providing for us.  To be sure that our use of it will not hinder its use again and again.  Additionally, there are health benefits to consider: absence of antibiotics and hormones, and freshness.  And what’s more, the decision to keep things local is a sound fiscal decision that keeps our dollars close to home, and circulating in our community. Recently, I was speaking to a guest who, while enjoying our dining experience, didn’t quite get the “local” thing… “I am not so sure anyone really cares about local” they told me.  With a great deal of composed professionalism, I emphatically disagreed.  People do care, and it is quite apparent to me, and all of us here at the Tailor and the Cook.  The response we have had to local foods, and the education that comes along with serving them has been tremendous.  Does local matter to everyone?  Probably not.  But it matters to enough people to create something of a sea change.  When your friends and neighbors start paying attention to something, start talking about it, start eating it… well, that is bound to turn at least a few heads.  Seeking out local, sustainable, quality ingredients matters to me, and as it turns out, quite a few of you as well. In the past year I have had the pleasure of meeting so...