There has been one ongoing thought this past week here in New York, and it’s that we’ll get through this, just like anything else. It’s a strong sentiment for many, especially for New Yorkers who have lived through tragedies like 9/11. But whether you’re a New Yorker or not, there’s always a way to light a candle through the darkness. While tragedies such as the natural disaster we experienced on Monday night tear us down — take away our subways, power, and normal way of life — they are also a time when people can rally behind each other and support each other.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I’d like to thank all of the people of New York, New York, and the entire Tri-State area who have suffered extreme losses yet still have remained strong this past week. It has been a truly incredible and moving experience, to see so many people lend a hand andsupport others in need. For the remainder of the week, until power is restored in Manhattan, all of my Upper East Side restaurants will remain open and serve as a home for anyone who is in need of water, food, Internet, or anything else we can provide. When I thought about what I wanted to write about for this week’s column, I settled on soups because it has been such a huge relief for me this past week. It’s easy to make in huge batches, it keeps people warm, and hey, you can make the entire meal in one pot on the stove, making it a really convenient soup to make for someone who is without power and has a gas stove.
The best thing about soup, in my mind, is that it’s sufficient enough to be one main meal and that it’s versatile enough to dress it up any way you please. As always with my cooking, I look to push the boundaries with soup, coming up with new and delicious varieties of it that people haven’t heard before. I love serving my butternut squash with an apple-pecan and goat cheese truffle floating on top, and for my tomato, I add barbecue chicken and jack cheese dumplings. There’s also my crab minestrone and duo of New England and Manhattan chowders — because I can’t pick one over the other — and last but not least, my crazy corn chowder with jalapeño jack cheese bread. This week, if you’re in search of something warm and something that tastes hot, stop by a Hale & Hearty to enjoy a bowl of my corn chowder, and at the same time you’ll be helping people in need with half of the portions going to my charity Table to Table.
Whether you’re on the East Coast and are recovering from Sandy or not, I hope these soups and soup ideas keep you warm and dry. Most importantly, as I reflect on this past week, I hope we can all take away that when we stick together and help each other out, we’ll always come out on top.