Marc Forgione is a very busy man. He runs an eponymous restaurant, the clubby steakhouse American Cut, and the Laotian-inspired Khe-Yo in New York’s Tribeca, and always seems to have something new in the works. We sat down with him at De Nolet presented by Ketel One to discuss his recently released first cookbook, the state of the dining scene in Atlantic City (where a second location of American Cut closed down when the mega-casino Revel did), and a few odds and ends, including how he takes his vodka.
The Daily Meal: What are you working on these days?
Marc Forgione: I'm currently focusing on Marc Forgione in Tribeca... it’s continuing to evolve and grow. I'm also opening up American Cut in Atlanta and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and enjoying having my little triangle of places in TriBeCa (Marc Forgione, American Cut, and Khe-Yo).
Congratulations on the new book! What can readers expect?
Pushing yourself to be a better cook. Don't skip the intro! We wrote a book that started as just recipes and then turned into memoirs and recipes. I also got to work with Evan Sung on the pictures, so the photography is amazing. It was really therapeutic to go through all of those memories again. Some of the early days sound really hard to believe, but it’s all true. With this book, I wanted to really teach home cooks to learn some new techniques while showing professionals the same.
What do you think the future holds for Atlantic City, and its dining scene in particular?
I love the dining scene in AC — it's a shame we're not there anymore. People were very good to us down there and we were very excited to be there. I hope for their sakes that they can have jobs again, good places to eat again, and I really hope it all works out.
What are your thoughts on abolishing tips in restaurants?
To be honest, I've never given it much thought. I guess I can see both ends of the spectrum: why you would want to do it, why you wouldn't. Like anything in life, change is difficult, but then again, evolution is necessary.
What, in your opinion, makes for a perfect burger?
A nice crust from the sear, some dry aged Cheddar, and a good bun.
How do you take your vodka?
Vodka on the rocks.