Last month Elite Traveler magazine published its list of the top 100 restaurants in the world. Taking 3 of the top 5 spots were New York City’s Daniel, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin.
The list is just the most recent confirmation of New York’s global culinary excellence. In New York, it doesn’t take much effort to find outstandingly creative and delicious food that runs the gamut of cuisines and price points.
You know you’re in a special food town when you can dig into Caracas-grade arepas, and Tobacco Leaf Smoked Chili Huckleberry ice cream without leaving one neighborhood of an outer borough. We’ve pretty much got it all and we’ve got it all good.
As a cook, when you’re big in New York, you’re big around the world. A litany of celebrity chefs including Flay, Colicchio, Samuelsson and Bourdain rose to prominence while working in the kitchens of NYC.
It’s no accident that the Food Network is headquartered here—food is headquartered here.
The unmatched ethnic diversity, population size and affluence are all offered up as reasons for New York’s gastronomic dominance. All of these explanations have merit, but what if the greatest reason was more biochemical than demographic and more emotional than infrastructural?
New York is defined by its hurried, unforgiving and in-your-face rhythm of life. By the time we finish our morning commute—having already contended with packed subway cars, blaring noise, one-of-a-kind odors and a healthy dose of the local attitude—most of us are frazzled, at best, and at worst, boiling with a Kafkaesque fury that drives us to impulse buy an 8-day Punta Cana resort package on Expedia that same morning