On the road with Chef John DeLucie
Those who have sorely missed Chef John DeLucie’s famous truffled mac ‘n’ cheese can rejoice — it’s back! Not at the Waverly Inn, where he created the signature dish back in 2006, but at his brand-new venture at the St. Regis hotel, a reimagining of the legendary King Cole Bar & Salon with sleek, modern furnishings and a friendly, small-plates menu. The spot, which opened yesterday, brings DeLucie’s restaurant count to five, including The Lion, Crown, Bill’s Food & Drink and in London, Red House. Which means this busy chef doesn’t get much time away from the kitchen to travel. When he does, his travels are very much about food — “Food is where my interest lies. Food tells you all about the culture. I’m always interested in what locals are eating and drinking,” he says. “I go to Italy almost every year, it’s my ancestry, plus the cuisine is incredible.”
Here are a few other places that tempt the Brooklyn-born, Long Island-raised DeLucie to leave the city:
- In August I traveled with my business partners to Italy. We all met in Positano and stayed at an amazing private villa with a cook. It was like being in someone’s home — sitting on the patio, having cappuccino. We also went to Ischia, where we ate at the two-Michelin-starred Il Mosaico.
- When I go to LA, which is rather frequently, I normally stay at the Sunset Tower. Last time I stayed at L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills; there was great service and the room was airy and clean and quiet.
- London has blown up in terms of restaurants; there’s great food there. I go every six months. I like to wander around Shoreditch — London’s East Village.
- Asia is really where I need to do some more exploring. I’ve been to Hong Kong and to Bali several years ago. Indonesia was extremely exotic, very far away, and a long ride, but I had a fantastic first-class Cathay Pacific seat; it’s a great airline. I’m not a vegetarian, but the food we ate at the COMO Shambhala Estate [in Bali] was off the charts.
- If I could travel with one of my friends, it would be author Jay McInerney. Jay and me in Burgundy — that would be a trip.