The original Shake Shack is situated in Madison Square Park, which happens to be in between my Flatiron offices and the tabletop showroom building, 41 Madison Avenue. I have certainly done my fair share of indulging in the celebrated concept during my last decade in the neighborhood.
But, the Shake Shack I devoured in Chicago earlier this month, was my favorite. The flavors were exactly the same as the NYC flagship. The packaging was also exactly the same (designed in partnership with M. Tucker and the incomparable and late Scott Clayman). However, this distinctive meal appeared in my hotel room exactly 22 minutes after I placed a call to room service at the Chicago Athletic Association.
I have spent a significant amount of nights on the road this year, visiting International factories to source new products and visiting boutique hotels nationally as a foodservice consultant and tabletop supplier. But this wasn’t a meal, this was a memory.
I am often told that I am chasing something unrealistic. Providing curated foodservice supplies with heritage and depth to industry professionals looking to make a meaningful, conscientious statement.
However, this exists. You will find it at the Chicago Athletic Association. You can also find it next month at The Troubadour, a JDV Hotel, opening in New Orleans.
Chef Phillip Lopez will be preparing locally-inspired casual bistro fare with French influences on archive dinnerware from Pillivuyt with a joyful mix of Arzberg, the first culinary porcelain company to perfect a functional terrine. Every vessel throughout the property was selected to meet at the point of functionality and personality. Many of the items selected will be making their US debut because of our visits to historic European factories.
That is what we do.
In Elena Arzak’s opening address to the 2016 Expo, she highlighted the importance of filling a space with thoughts, conversations, and experiences. Allow our team at Singer/M Tucker to help curate these memories.
I have the honor of closing out Star Chef’s three day culinary symposium by presenting the Innovator Awards to manufacturers who are committed to developing products that push our industry forward and allow culinary moments to shine.
After presenting the awards, I was treated to a main stage Chef’s Table Supper by the daring genius Chris Cosentino. We celebrated a return to hospitality that combined age old technique with precision control from Breville and PolyScience in century old re-released cookware from Agnelli. Our family-style feast was served on a year old design that I selected when visiting the 200 year old Pillivuyt factory some months ago.
It’s rare, but some moments stay with you forever and can be described as healing in a self-indulgent way. Shake Shack In-room is at the top of that list. So is an intimate dinner for 6 in front of hundreds of culinary professionals on the ICC Main Stage. Allow us the privilege of presenting to you these creative and innovative products at HX: The Hotel Experience, November 13-15, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this month. And join me on Monday at 12PM on the Main Stage to Explore “How the Restaurant Industry in Metro NY Has Evolved So That We Can Peak into the Future.”