24 Hours with Chef Angie Mar
Chef Angie Mar is the Executive Chef of The Beatrice Inn. Find her infamous 45-Dry Aged Burger at her pop-up in Madison Square Eats this May and in multiple pop-ups in London this summer. Pictured in homage to Chef Marco Pierre White in Tilit's Railroad WORK apron and Women's Short Sleeve Chef Jacket.
7:30 AM — I am, by nature, not a morning person, which is why a cook’s life in New York City is perhaps so fitting. Over the years, however, I find myself sleeping less and less and obsessing more and more over food. The second I wake up and shut off my alarm, I lay in bed and run over my agenda for the day — meetings, prep work, upcoming events, calls I need to make, people I want to reach out to. Once I stagger out of bed, I do my usual skin care routine. After all, I can’t pass up a good two minutes with my Clarisonic — it’s become an addiction — something like the burn of a chili sauce, or the fragrance of truffles. I’ll then check my social media, answer any e-mails that have accrued overnight and read the manager’s report from the restaurant the evening before. I take notes on average ticket prices per person that evening, and any maintenance issues that need attention.
8:30 AM — I call my sous chef Lucero to check on the State of the Union: our restaurant. How are the deliveries? Is she happy with the meat and the fish? Is our parsley the right size? We talk about specials that I am thinking about for tomorrow and I’ll let her know about upcoming parties this week. Lucero has worked at every restaurant in New York that I have worked so our brains function the same way and we finish each other’s sentences. I’ll do my makeup and hair, pack a bag for the day, and by 9:30, I'm out of the door.
10:15 AM — I arrive at the Bea bearing coffee and doughnuts for my prep crew. Everyone gets high fives as I walk in the door. I ask how things are going, to which the reply is almost always, “Bueno, Chef.” I’ll season my coffee with raw sugar and milk while I review their prep list for the day. Then I’m off to the office to change into my whites and begin a prep list of my own. I review a list with my assistant for service tonight — How many covers do we have, how many VIPs, regulars, who they are, where I want them to sit, what they ate when they were last here...
11:00 AM — I am knee-deep in meat by this time. Today, I’m breaking down and whiskey aging beef. It’s a technique that I learned in France from the famed butcher Yves Marie Le Bourdonnec. We are the only restaurant implementing this technique in the United States right now. I have a constant supply of the best beef coming to the Beatrice, hand-picked by Pat La Frieda, and we bring most of it to age here in our walk-in. The ones I am working on this particular morning are tomahawks that will be ready in 120 days. We will sell the ribeye steaks on our Butcher’s Blocks and the short ribs will be shaved thin for carpaccio.
12:30 PM — I clean down my station and wipe the blood and meat off my hands. I write the menu for this evening’s service and post it for my nighttime sous chef and cooks to see when they walk in the door. I touch up my makeup and jump back into street clothes and I’m out the door. Off to my next meeting. Today it’s a coffee date with my dear friend Annabet Duvall, the Creative Director for The Eighth, and my neighbor and good friend, Allison Patel, the founder of Brenne Whiskey. We are talking about a collaboration of meat printed men’s undergarments and a pop-up beef and whiskey dinner for Paris Fashion Week.
1:45 PM — I am in a cab on the way to Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker. I’m sending e-mails to Yves-Marie about the pop-up in Paris for the fall, and feeling inspired to run a special this evening of duck egg pasta with wild boar — if my dish doesn’t have Winnemere cheese dolloped on top, I may die. I call Lucero and ask her to please make some tagliatelle for tonight’s service as I hop out of the cab and dash for the finishing touches for this pasta special. I decide to walk back to the Beatrice to give myself some time to make some calls.
2:00 PM — I am on the phone with Teddie Davies who heads my PR at Collective New York. She is talking about our upcoming trip to Jamaica and the itinerary while we are there. Five days, butchering pigs, and talking to chefs, restauranteurs and culinary students about what I look for when I am purchasing a quality pig: the food cost, different uses, etc. We run through the travel schedule for the upcoming months, and today, I am getting scolded for missing a deadline to write a recipe.
3:00 PM — My cooks arrive on time, and again, there are high fives as they walk through the door. I’m always so excited to see them. We have a quick menu meeting and go over covers for the evening. I’m now back in my whites and off to a quiet corner of my kitchen to test recipes for our upcoming cookbook. My proposal is tragically overdue. Today, Lucero and I are scaling a recipe for a venison cassoulet and a bone-marrow and bourbon creme brulee.
5:00 PM — Line up. My front-of-the-house and I review the menu for the evening, we taste the specials, tonight is duck egg tagliatelle with smoked wild boar and Winnemere cheese, and a short rib and venison pie. We talk about VIPs that we have on the books this evening and points of service.
7:00 PM — Back in the kitchen, the first push happens. We are slammed like any normal Saturday night in New York City, and my ticket board quickly fills with orders. This is what it’s all about. This is the time that my crew and I get excited and pumped for the rest of the evening. It’s the moment when we are almost in the weeds but not quite there — that is the feeling that we all live for. Plate after beautiful plate comes to my pass as I am calling orders out. We are tasting, wiping the rims of each plate, and sending them on their way and we continue to repeat the process all evening.
9:30 PM — My sous chef takes the pass and I walk the floor. I say hello to our regulars and our friends that are in for dinner. I check in with my servers to make sure we are sending my favorite neighborhood couple a dessert for their anniversary. Then I’m back on the pass for the second push and we get to relive the thrill of cooking in New York City on a Saturday night all over again.
12:00 AM — Kitchen is closed and I break down with my crew. We scrub the kitchen until it shines and simultaneously have a beer and some of Marco’s tacos before calling it a night. I head to the office to plan the menu for tomorrow and answer emails.
1:00 AM — I head to Sake Hagi for some yakitori and sushi for myself on the way home. There is something so satisfying about pure raw fish after I’ve been living, breathing and dreaming about meat all day. It resets my palette. I sit at the bar by myself and watch the oldman work in the back. I’ve been coming here since Imoved to New York and it’s a solitary pleasure for me. It’s how I wind down from my night.
2:30 AM — I am back to my sanctuary on Central Park. I take a minute to look over the Park and the city that is my home. I rarely spend time in this apartment but it’s been my home for six years. The lights from across the park are glittering and the Jackie O. Reservoir is shining – it’s a beautiful New York night. I get ready for bed, and when I’m finally in the sheets, I smile because I can’t wait to get back into my tiny West Village kitchen tomorrow and do it all over again.