10 thoughts: Michael Lomonaco

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Michael Lomonaco, a veteran of the New York restaurant scene, is the chef/owner of Porter House New York at the Time Warner Center, where he recently opened a new lounge, Center Bar. He is the author of two cookbooks—The ‘21’ Cookbook and Nightly Specials.

1. One thing you don’t know about me is that I’m a passionate music lover, in all forms, and an avid guitar player since the age of 14.

2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Joel Robuchon who rocked me in 1992 with “pomme puree”—a dish never forgotten.

3. One of my most memorable meals was in Spain at Santi Santamaria’s restaurant Can Fabes in 2001. It is Catalan cuisine at its finest from a gentleman and genius chef who is sadly gone.

4. If there was no pasta, I’d have no reason to live. I’m talking about any pasta that is made with love and simplicity.

5. My go-to drink is pinot noir from Burgundy—terroir, terroir, terroir.

6. If I were on death row my last meal would be an immense dining event that would take a month to enjoy in Italy with all my loved ones surrounding me.

7. My worst culinary creation was a slim cuisine menu I designed in 1990. It was
all nutrition and no heart.

8. If I could change one thing about me it would be my love for sweets, chocolates and dessert.

9. My favorite junk food is Nathan’s Hog Dogs on Coney Island.

10. If I wasn’t a restaurant operator, I’d love to be an architect, building monumental and iconic structures that make peoples’ lives better.