This week on Chef’s Story, Dorothy Cann Hamilton sits down and chats with one of the founders of New American Cuisine, award-winning chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill. Listen in as Alfred remembers his Italian-American upbringing in Buffalo, NY and explains how he fell in love with food through French cookbooks and found his way to culinary school and eventually in a kitchen in France. Hear how Gotham Bar & Grill was born and how it challenged the way fine dining was viewed in New York City. Find out why quality of ingredients is so important to Alfred and how art, architecture and design all inspire him in his creations. From his achievements in the kitchen to his endeavors in jewelery and furniture making, discover the brilliance of Alfred Portale on this episode of Chef’s Story. This program was sponsored by Fairway Market.

“Nowadays – there are so many excellent chefs in this country that it’s not as critical to [spend time in France]. That wasn’t really the case when I graduated culinary school.”

“At the time Gotham opened – the well reviewed restaurants were formal. If you didn’t know a lot about wine or pronounce certain things you were sneered at. What I thought back then was why not create a dining experience with excellent food and service that doesn’t have all that pretension?”

“Now more than ever, it’s all about the quality of ingredients and modern technique which fortunately have gotten better and better.”


“After 26 years, we continually analyze the operation, work on menu, work on who we are and how to improve. Our early success was because we figured out what customers want and we continue to ask ourselves that same question.”

–Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill on Chef’s Story