The iconic retro Empire Diner in Chelsea has a brand new interior and a delicious new menu thanks to chef John DeLucie. The chef has partnered with the team behind Cafeteria on this new all-day dining concept. We chatted with DeLucie to learn more about the project, his daily routine and get his favorite brunch recipes from his menu.
My lunch routine consists of:
I rarely eat lunch but if I do, it would be pasta and a salad or maybe an omelette.
Favorite staff meal:
Tacos, my guys in the kitchen make the best tacos around.
The best part of what I do is:
The immediate gratification I get when someone has a lovely experience at the restaurant.
Where do you seek inspiration for the restaurant?
Galleries, museums, live music shows, other restaurants and all of my travels. I also read a lot of books and magazines.
Who is someone that inspires you in the restaurant world?
I’ve been inspired by so many people in the last 25 years. But right now, my partner at Empire Diner Stacy Pisone inspires me. She has owned Cafeteria for almost 20 years and has an undying enthusiasm for the restaurant and the business of restaurants in general. She’s tough, smart, and always fair.
The best thing I’ve ever eaten:
I can't even answer the question…
I like simple Italian foods foods that I grew up on, the foods that my mother still makes like spiedini, spaghetti aglio e olio, rigatoni with eggplant, simply grilled fish or meat with olive oil and fresh lemon.
I like flavors that are bitter: dark chocolate, espresso and parmesan cheese.
I’m 10 times more productive when…
I get up really early in the morning to get my day started.
Soft Scrambled Eggs Cacio E Pepe