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Andaz Fifth Ave Keeps It In the Family With New Executive Chef Muraco

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  Site Where: 485 5th Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10017
February 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM | by | ()

The Andaz food scene has pretty much always been a source of pleasure for us. Whether we were plotting how to sneak those North Fork potato chips into our bag without anyone noticing, or salivating over cinnamon donuts at the Andaz Wall Street farmer's market—we generally know we're going to get well-fed.

When Andaz 5th Ave told us they were appointing a new Executive Chef, we were curious to learn a little more about the guy. So we asked Chef Vincent Muraco, who started in 1993 as Chef Tournant at Park Hyatt San Francisco, all the relevant questions, starting with:

HC: What is it that you love about cooking in hotels?

Chef Muraco: Hotels are really exciting for me because every day is different. There is so much going on in all the different outlets, it never gets boring or repetitive. I love to travel, and the travel benefits with Hyatt are great!

HC: What excites you most about joining the Andaz team as Executive Chef?

CM: I love being back in NYC, my hometown. Plus, Andaz is such a new and exciting brand for Hyatt, and as a chef, I feel very fortunate to be a part of this concept. I believe their food and beverage concept presses directly on the pulse of today's diners and travelers, making my job that much easier.

HC: What changes, if any, will be coming to the Andaz 5th Ave menus?

CM: Menus change all the time. The chefs and I go to the farmers market weekly, at least. We just added a classic—Braised Lamb Shank with Creamy Polenta and Roasted Cippolini Onions—to the shop menu. A roasted cauliflower dish will also be added to the menu to make our vegetarian patrons smile for sure.

HC: Are there any foods that you particularly love or particularly hate?

CM: I love to eat everything. A favorite would have to be Sunday dinner with my family. Usually my godmother or aunt or uncle will cook up a storm—I just get to relax, drink wine and taste everything! Food for me is always an adventure so I really can’t think of anything I hate.

HC: Name one hotel meal (anywhere in the world) that sticks out in your mind.

CM: One of my favorite days ever was when I traveled to Germany. The Hyatt Regency Cologne has a beer garden, which the chef invited us to the last day of service. We drank beer and ate Weiner Schnitzel and Bratwurst. We were surrounded by hundreds of Germans having a great time till the sun went down. I thought it was hilarious that the chef had four beers and then went back to work in the kitchen!

[Photos: Andaz Fifth Avenue]

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