Chelsea Market has grown to become one of New York’s top attractions, not just for tourists, but for New Yorkers as well. What is it about the market that attracts people? Is it the endless amounts of food or the buzz of hungry people inside? In the recent cookbook, Chelsea Market Cookbook, one of the authors and managing directors of Chelsea Market, Michael Phillips shares with us his thoughts on the market and cookbook.
One of the things that separates Chelsea Market apart from other markets, Phillips tells us is that people are able to “engage within a community in a dialogue about food.” Chelsea market brings “expression and art,” What Phillips looks for in food, whether it is in a restaurant or a market, is the use of “simple, humble ingredients.” He believes New York is an “endemic and global food scene,” full of various cultures and creative ways. He’s never expected it to be this big, but has “always held it in such high esteem.”
But it took some time and effort to decide which vendors to showcase in the market. For example, before deciding on Dickinson’s Farmstand Meats, they visited seventy butchers! This “journey of education,” as Phillips calls it, was to educate themselves about the “old school and new school” farm and livestock. People enjoyed both raw and prepared meats, so they had to figure out a way to incorporate both things. That is how the idea for the annual Chelsea Market Chilifest came about.
The cookbook holds more than just helpful recipes and mouth-watering photos. Inside is a glance into of one of the historic spots in New York, where you can discover new meanings and uses for food.
Unlike other cookbooks, Phillips noted that this one was “united around a charity [wellness in schools and charity water], making it easier for various copyright restrictions and any economic benefits chefs may have had for competing book contracts.”
Phillips hopes to expand the market with more ethnic foods, such as West African and Kosher products. Their newest addition is called The Tippler, a jazz club and restaurant.