Chelsea Market Makers: Recipes, Tips, and Techniques from the Artisans of New York's Premier Food Hall

Chelsea Market Makers: Recipes, Tips, and Techniques from the Artisans of New York's Premier Food Hall

by Michael Phillips, Cree LeFavour


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Learn how to make the iconic dishes of Chelsea Market and witness the craft of the world’s premier vendors with this behind-the-scenes look at America’s leading food hall. Chelsea Market Makers offers collected advice, recipes, and expertise from the artisans of the market—chefs, grocers, butchers, cheese mongers, and more—and presents a rare opportunity to learn their renowned techniques and methodologies.
You’ll learn how to make a sourdough starter with Amy’s Bread, artisanal cheese from Lucy’s Whey, Mokbar’s famous kimchi, and other staples to fill the fridge and pantry. Organized alphabetically by subject, Chelsea Market Makers features more than 75 methods and recipes for signature market dishes such as Sarabeth’s Rustic Apple Streusel Pie, Dickson’s famous roast chicken, and unbelievable doughnuts from the Doughnuttery, plus many more delectable items to make and enjoy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617691669
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 05/31/2016
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael Phillips is the president of Jamestown L.P., the owner of Chelsea Market and the author of Chelsea Market Cookbook. He attended the American University in London and serves on the board of the James Beard Foundation.

Read an Excerpt



We rely on the Manhattan Fruit Exchange and the Latilla brothers who own and operate it for sharing the knowledge they've accumulated during their almost thirty years in the business. The brothers began by selling produce to just one restaurant in 1974. Today, three decades later, with two generations working at the Exchange, they're still in business, now with hundreds of restaurants, plus a retail store and suppliers from around the world to match. When you shop there you're buying directly from the wholesaler — just one step away from buying from a grower at a farmers' market. You can't get any closer to the source unless you pick the fruit yourself.

Step into the chilly walk-in retail store in Chelsea Market and you're likely to discover something new, or, if you're a professional, you'll encounter prime specimens and varieties of fruit you can't find anywhere else. We open this chapter with New York's most famous contribution to the fruit world — the apple. It's a humble, honored fruit.


Vito Latilla begins pestering his New York growers for the new crop of apples in mid-August, when the first upstate fruit is ripe enough for picking. After the first hard frost, sometime in November, he leaves them alone, turning to the South for citrus. As you know if you like apples — who doesn't? — the quality and variety of the fruit available year-round has exploded in recent years. Given the crazy abundance of types on the market, from heirloom varieties to new hybrids, if your favorite is Red or Golden Delicious — the vanilla ice creams of the apple world — it's time to look further afield. There's no longer any excuse for a bad apple.

One of Vito's favorite apples happens to be dominating the market at the moment. It's an Australian hybrid with a balance of tart and sweet called Cripps Pink, trademarked in 2012 under the name Pink Lady. The Pink Lady vies for space and attention with its closest competitor, the Honeycrisp. Developed at the Minnesota Agricultural Research Station and trademarked in 1988, the Honeycrisp is a tad too sweet for Vito's taste. (We're big fans of it.) Both varieties are outstanding eating apples — crisp and firm with tender skin protecting the flesh's large cells. These apples practically pop when you bite into them, and they hit the palate with tart juice infused with notes of citrus. They are at once fragrant, sweet, and refreshingly bright. Bred for extended shelf life, these beauties hold their staying power in the produce aisle right into March, even if the unmistakable bold, honest flavor of a local apple only a week or two off the tree won't keep beyond Thanksgiving.


By the time apple season comes to a close in late October, you'll be encountering the bright temptation of clementines in tidy wooden boxes, followed quickly by a new crop of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and eventually mandarins. Before you know it, strawberry season will rescue you from waning citrus, defining the opening of a new season as much as the rising temperatures and the appearance of local asparagus and fiddleheads. As the months pass, the early spring bounty is overtaken by cherries and currants, and then by the miracle of perfect raspberries and blueberries. You'll be tired of the heat by the time the final blackberries have ripened or been plucked by hungry birds. By then apples are well into their own season before it all begins again. With the vagaries of weather and heat determining the strengths and weaknesses of the season's fruit, every year is different enough to make each crop feel like a new adventure.


As one of the best produce buyers in Manhattan, with any number of fruits available to him, Vito chooses to consume as much watermelon as possible throughout the summer months, extending the season by locating the earliest available melons in May and the latest fall melons in October. Vito never fails to get his hands sticky from the juicy melons he chooses, since he knows better than anyone how to identify a ripe, sweet melon. His advice? "Look at the flattened oval on the bottom of the melon where it rested in the field — it's called a field spot. The spot should be distinctively yellow and fairly well defined. A melon without a spot was picked long before it ripened." He advises you to "pick up your melon — heavy is good." Actually, Vito's fail-safe rule is to seek out produce that's "heavy for its size." It's a solid tip to remember since it can be applied to a range of produce including melons, lettuce (always pick the heaviest head of romaine), sweet peppers — even onions.

We suspect Vito loves watermelon as much as he does in part because it's one of those fruits that have not yet been doomed to year-round ubiquity. Sure, he says, "you can now get just about any fruit no matter what the season," but that doesn't mean you should eat raspberries in January. Vito doesn't — he saves the pleasure for when they're in season, and we recommend you do the same. As even the most seasonally out-of-tune shopper knows, winter berries, peaches, plums, and cherries have been flown in overnight from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, or Australia. In other words, they've come from half a world away. Vito points out that "cool-weather, non-tropical fruits are meant to be harvested ripe and tend to lose their flavor quickly once picked." We take this to mean it's not really worth the expense to buy them when they're not in season — coming from so far away, whatever flavor or scent they may have rubs off in transit.

Rustic Apple Streusel Pie


Here, one of Chelsea Market's goddesses of baking, Sarabeth Levine, offers her legendary pie recipe. It will take you through every step, and, because of the streusel topping, there's no crimping crusts or weaving lattice. The combination of tart apples, a hint of Grade B maple syrup, Sarabeth's famously tender crust, and a lightly caramelized top will have you lingering at the table, shaving off just one more sliver, until you whittle your pie down to nothing.

Serves 8

4 pounds (1.8 kg) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch (3mm) slices
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place a baking pan in the oven to heat.

Stir the apples, sugar, flour, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl until well combined. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the bowl with the apples (or add the vanilla extract) and stir until combined.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and dust the top with flour. Roll out into a 15-inch (38-cm) round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate, centering it in the plate and letting the excess dough hang over the sides. The dough should not be stretched over the edge of the pan; it should rest there easily, slack rather than taut.

Heap the apples in the crust, mounding them high in the center. Bring up the edges of the crust, pleating it as needed around the circumference of the dish; the center of the filling will be visible. Brush the crust with the egg. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the exposed filling to cover it, scattering any remaining streusel over the crust.

Line the baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the pie on the hot pan in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and any juices that escape are thick, about 1 hour. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent it with parchment paper. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, before serving.


The usual method for making pie dough is to cut the dry ingredients into cold butter to form a coarse mixture with bits of butter about the size of peas. This method can be tricky; depending on the temperature of the butter and the efficiency of the execution, it's easy to end up with a greasy mass that isn't much good for anything. Sarabeth takes an entirely different approach: She creams the butter with a little milk until fluffy and then adds the dry ingredients, mixing them in slowly and gently so as not to make the crust tough. We think you'll find her method considerably easier and faster. Most important, her crust lives up to its name — it is extraordinarily tender.

Makes enough for one 9-inch (23-cm) double-crust pie, two 9-inch (23-cm) single-crust pies, or six individual deep-dish pies

¾ cup (1½ sticks / 170 g) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into tablespoons
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at high speed until the butter is smooth, about 1 minute. With the mixer running, drizzle in the milk, occasionally stopping the machine and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. The butter mixture should be fluffy, smooth, and shiny, like a buttercream frosting.

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough forms into a mass. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press it with the palm of your hand a few times to knead just until it is smooth and supple. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a thick, 6-inch (15-cm) diameter disc. Wrap the discs tightly in plastic wrap and then press each one with the palm of your hand to form a neat round.

Refrigerate just until chilled, 30 to 60 minutes. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 day, but it will be very hard and should stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you roll it out.)


This cinnamon-and-vanilla–scented topping transforms just about anything you bake. Sure, pie is its natural destiny, but we like to sprinkle it on muffins, coffee cakes, Bundt cakes, and tarts. If you're a bit of a salt hound, as we tend to be, add a pinch or two to the mix. This topping contrasts nicely with the sweet-and-sour filling and the effortlessly tender crust in Sarabeth's memorable pie.

Makes about ½ cup (80 g)

6 tablespoons (1¾ ounces / 50 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugars, cinnamon, butter, and vanilla with your fingers until combined and crumbly. Set aside.

Pancakes with Mixed Berry Compote and Maple Syrup


On any given sleepy Sunday morning, when nothing but a pancake will do, you'd never guess that these fluffy beauties — served with bright, fresh berry compote, a drizzle of warm maple syrup, and a pat of butter — are gluten-free. This suits Justin Brunwasser, Friedman's chef and partner, whose goal is "to make food so good people don't know it's gluten-free." A self-taught chef who began by chopping onions in the basement of a less-than-famous Manhattan restaurant, Justin is committed to comfort food with an emphasis on fresh, simple ingredients made with local produce — with or without gluten.

Makes about twelve 4-inch (10-cm) pancakes

¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil, plus more for the griddle
Preheat the oven to 180°F (85°C). Set an oven-safe plate in the oven to warm.

Heat a well-cured cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat (or set an electric griddle to medium-high). Pour a little canola oil on the griddle, let it sizzle for a moment, and then spread it around, using a paper towel to coat the surface. Set the towel aside to regrease the griddle between batches.

Whisk together the canola oil, milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the Gluten-Free Flour Mixture and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and gently fold them into the batter using a large rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl as you work, until white streaks are no longer visible. Set the batter aside to rest for a moment.

Pour a tablespoon or two of the batter onto the hot griddle for a test pancake. Once it rises, flip it over and cook the other side. It should be a nice brown color. If it's pale your griddle needs to be hotter. Using a ¼-cup (60-ml) measure, pour the batter onto the greased griddle and cook until the edges brown slightly and the bubbles forming in the center retain their shape for a few seconds before collapsing. Flip the pancake and continue cooking until cooked through. Press the top of the cake at the center with your finger to test for doneness — it should feel springy, not liquid-soft. If desired, smear a little butter on the surface of each cake before transferring to the warm plate in the oven and repeat, using all the batter. Serve hot, topped with the compote and maple syrup, and if you want a snowy look, dust the pancakes with confectioners' sugar sprinkled from a fine-mesh sieve.


Makes 3 cups (720 ml)

8 cups (4 pints / 1.2 kg) mixed berries, ideally equal parts strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
Combine the berries and sugar in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Slowly bring the berries to a simmer, stirring frequently as they release their juices to avoid scalding. Cook the berries for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the natural juices have reduced by half and the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Taste for acidity, adding more lemon or sugar as desired. Serve warm.


Makes 4½ cups (735 g)

3 ½ cups (560 g) white rice flour
Whisk the ingredients together thoroughly and store sealed, at room temperature, for up to 3 months.



The cheese and butter sold at Chelsea Market are distinguished by their careful sourcing; Chelsea Creamline and Lucy's Whey buy locally from small farmers whose cows consume a varied diet. The same is true for The Cleaver Co. and the other restaurants in the Market that use dairy of any sort in their recipes. The Market is a microcosm of New York and as such reflects the best ingredients the region can produce.


Next to eggs, butter is one of those ingredients it's difficult to do without. Even if you use more olive oil for cooking, the flavor of butter can't be replaced — think butter-based sauces like bérnaise and beurre blanc, pasta with butter, cold butter on warm sourdough bread, eggs basted in butter, grilled cheese, and, most important of all, toast! The greatest challenge when buying butter is finding one that is rich and round and smooth and grassy. Ronnybrook Farm Dairy's butter is a great example of how to make good butter sustainably. As Ronnybrook's owner, Rick Osofsky, says, "We make butter the way it was done historically, churned in small batches. The same day milk gets harvested from the cow, it goes to the creamer and is made into butter. It gets delivered to New York City the next day. This means the flavor of the butter reflects what the cows eat on pasture. ... Every batch of butter has a different aroma and color, and it changes most dramatically season to season."

Chelsea Creamline has close ties to the Osofsky family, whose Ronnybrook Dairy is one of the Market's oldest dairy producers. As the Market's most dairy-centric vendor — well, Lucy's Whey is certainly in the running — Chelsea Creamline depends on Ronnybrook for its creamy, unhomogenized milk, super-rich butter, truly outstanding ice cream, and thick, non-ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. (Another favorite is the maple yogurt.) All of it goes into the recipes for biscuits, milk shakes, sundaes, and the rest of the classic pharmacy-counter menu put together by Chelsea Creamline's owner, Harris Selinger.


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Table of Contents

Apples and Other Fruit,
Butter and Cheese,
Cocktails and Infused Spirits,
Doughnuts and Brownies,
Fermentation and Pickling,
Gifts, Parties, and Holidays,
Herbs and Flowers,
Ice Cream, Gelato, Granita, and Ice Pops,
Juices and Smoothies,
Kitchen Equipment,
Lobster, Fish, and Oysters,
Meat and Poultry,
Nuts and Seeds,
Olive Oil and Salt,
Quinoa and Rice,
Roux, Stocks, and Sauces,
Sweets: Candy and Chocolate,
Tea and Coffee,
Udon and Ramen,
Xanthan Gum and Other Gluten-Free Essentials,
Za'atar, Spice Mixes, and Aromatics,
Index of Searchable Terms,
About the Authors,

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