Michael Chernow is co-owner with Daniel Holzman of The Meatball Shop, with four locations in New York City and Brooklyn. A fifth location will open later this summer on New York City’s upper east side. He is also the co-author of The Meatball Shop Cookbook.
1. One thing you don’t know about me is that I played tuba from 7th grade to 12th grade.
2. If I could trade places with one chef it would most likely be Dan Barber. He’s an amazing chef that has access to some of the finest and freshest ingredients. His restaurant—Blue Hill at Stone Barns—in Pocantico Hils, NY, is one of my favorites of all time. He also happens to be a super humble, passionate guy.
3. One of my most memorable meals was at a restaurant called Cal Pep in Barcelona. There is something I call restaurant noise, the perfect melody of glasses clinking, music playing, chatter of the guests and staff, plates hitting the table. Cal Pep has the greatest restaurant noise I have ever experienced.
4. If there were no apples, I’d have no reason to live. I know; kinda boring, but I’m an apple fiend.
5. My go-to drink is water or coffee (also boring). But I gave up the sauce some years ago. All I drink is water and coffee.
6. If I were on death row my last meal would be bone marrow and ox tail marmalade from Blue Ribbon Brasserie. For an entrée I would have a Roquefort cheeseburger from The Spotted Pig with sweet potato fries (from anywhere). For dessert I’d have the date cake from Moto in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
7. My worst culinary creation was a turkey I cooked during Thanksgiving five years ago. I’ve been cooking the Thanksgiving meal for my whole family (15 people) for the last seven years, but that one year I really messed up the turkey trying a new technique that failed badly. The turkey had the consistency of rubber. Everyone pretended to love it but I knew it was really bad when nobody would take home leftovers. I have since redeemed myself.
8. If I could change one thing about me it would be my height. I wish I was a little bit taller. I also wish I was a baller. . . wait, I am a baller (L.O.L.).
9. My favorite junk food is twisted honey wheat pretzels. It’s like crack!
10. If I was not a restaurant operator, I’d love to be a designer. I love designing spaces. If I wasn’t operating restaurants, I’d be designing furniture and restaurant interiors.