World Chefs: After diplomats restaurant cooking is easy

Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:40am EST
 
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By Chelsea Emery

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - After cooking for United Nations diplomats, menu planning for a New York restaurant is a cakewalk, said the chefs of Seasonal Restaurant and Weinbar, the Michelin-star Austrian eatery in Manhattan.

New Yorkers bring plenty of food sensitivities to the table, but their demands pale when compared to those of international heads of state, Wolfgang Ban and his partner Eduard Frauneder told Reuters.

Ban and Frauneder, who are opening a new rustic Austrian restaurant in New York's East Village, also described their efforts to overturn stereotypes of Austrian cooking and explained why there are so many pizza joints in New York.

Q: How does cooking for diplomats differ from the restaurant business?

A: Frauneder: "Cooking for diplomats is interesting in one respect -- you get used to all kinds of food restrictions. You see some crazy stuff. You have to obey all the religious holidays. You have guests who say, 'No shallots', 'no pork.'

"Once we had a dinner for 10 people where six people had between one-to-four different food restrictions, including no nuts, no butter... In direct comparison, a restaurant is actually easier."

Q: Are you seeing more allergies than in the past?

A: Frauneder: "I think most allergies in America are more mental than physical. And it's fashionable to have allergies."   Continued...