This week on Chef’s Story, Dorothy Cann Hamilton is joined by chef Bill Telepan of Telepan Restaurant in NYC. Tune in and hear how Bill went from working at delis and local restaurants to attending culinary school, traveling to France and eventually helping open Judson Grill and starting his own restaurant, Telepan Restaurant. Hear what it was like cooking in NYC in the late 80’s, before the local sustainable movement started to take shape. Listen as Bill tells stories of working for legendary restauranteurs like Daniel Boulud and David Bouley and what challenges he faced along his professional culinary career. Also hear what Bill’s been up to as Executive Chef of the Wellness in the Schools program, helping improve the food and food education in NYC public schools. This program was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.
“As a cook, you go work at places and you take the best of what you learn, mash it together, go inside your heart and soul and find your own cuisine.” [15:10]
“You have to be true to yourself….if it works, great. If it doesn’t, you can’t be throwing pizzas on the menu because that’s what everybody wants to eat and it’s simple.” [21:45]
“It’s not just about what you do in a kitchen – it’s about what’s going on outside [the restaurant].” [29:48]
“The thing you gain in [sourcing locally] is flavor. There’s many environmental factors that are important, but the fact that the carrot was pulled on Tuesday and you have it in your refrigerator on Wednesday is very important to me – and people notice it.” [35:50]
“The job of school food is so hard because they feed a million kids a day in 1,500 schools. It’s hard to keep track of that. Our program goes in, helps and works alongside them to give them confidence and training and through osmosis change the culture of the school.” [41:20]
–chef Bill Telepan on Chef’s Story