Prior to opening his eponymous fine dining Kosher restaurant in Manhattan, Chef Michael Gershkovich knew he needed kitchen design help for his upcoming move.
Chef Mike’s restaurant was located on the Upper West Side and now he was relocating to Midtown East. His schedule was extremely full; running a successful restaurant as well as his other endeavor Amsterdam Burgers, there was not enough time in the day to build a new kitchen.
A trip to Northern New Jersey brought the CIA educated chef to NJ Restaurant Equipment Corp in Fairview, New Jersey. There he met and started speaking with Michael Cinosky, NJRE’s Senior Project Manager and Designer. “You could tell right off the bat that Chef Mike has such passion for what he does and he is crazy talented,” Cinosky went on; “We both went to the Culinary Institute, had some of the same Chef Instructors, and I could tell he was doing things the right way.”
In fact, Mr. Cinosky cooked in commercial kitchens and managed full service restaurants and catering businesses his whole career including hotels and center of the plate restaurants. The challenge for this particular project that Chef Mike was setting up a kosher fine dining restaurant which presented its challenges for Cinosky: “Here you have a chef that doesn’t take short cuts, that does everything from scratch and now you have to take a Manhattan kitchen space and turn it into essentially three different kitchens. It was a learning experience for me and not only were we successful in fitting all of the important elements for chef Mike, we had room to spare and made the kitchen ultra efficient understanding not only quality but price,” laments Cinosky as he remembers the revisions and the constant productive dialogue he and Chef Gershkovich went back and forth for a few months setting up the space.
“It was nice working with someone that used the equipment most of his career, someone that I could tell what it was I was looking for and he got it. Working in a kitchen is difficult and unless you have been there in the same type of environment you can’t possibly imagine what we go through.”
In fact, having a Chef’s help has proved to be a winning formula for NJRE with Cinosky in charge of over 25 designs in the last two years in not only the tri-state area but beyond. “Currently I am working on a butcher shop/restaurant in Lancaster County PA, a kosher chicken restaurant, an empanada bar, a craft beer establishment and the beginning of this year I finished a Pizza Restaurant in Peducah, KY, Broadway Italian Grill.” With all of the projects under management, Cinosky is already working on Gershkovich’s next location for his Amsterdam Burger venture.
“When you are working with a Chef as talented as Mike, and as intense I might add, it makes the project more fun. Also, Chef Mike understands that in my heart I am a kitchen guy so I have no qualms about giving my opinion and as long as I can back it up, he understands the way I operate.
“When you are opening up a restaurant or any business for that matter, you are juggling so many different aspects of the project and there are vendors with whom you work that add to that stress and make your work more difficult. Working with Cinosky was actually the opposite of that. I knew that I could give him a conceptual idea and he would put it on paper and make it work,” Gershkovich says as he thinks back to the project and now looks forward to the next.
When you set up a kitchen it’s not easy or even feasible for most to just change out the plan if it doesn’t work, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. It is paramount to get it right the first time however as we all know there are no guarantees and it seems as though Chefs and restaurateurs feel more comfortable with a Chef helping design and build-out their space.
NJRE is located at 51 Broad Avenue Fairview, NJ 07022. www.njresupply.net 201.313.3334