Kluger Dan - Kluger, Dan

Dan Kluger

Biography

Born and raised in NYC, Dan grew up in a family where cooking always played a major role. Dan attended Syracuse University where he majored in Nutrition and Hospitality Management. He spent his externship in the dining room of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe and after graduation returned to work in the front of house until he was offered his first kitchen position as a prep cook. It was USC that opened his eyes to the wonders of seasonal cooking and he spent the next two and a half years working his way through every... READ MORE

Born and raised in NYC, Dan grew up in a family where cooking always played a major role. Dan attended Syracuse University where he majored in Nutrition and Hospitality Management. He spent his externship in the dining room of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe and after graduation returned to work in the front of house until he was offered his first kitchen position as a prep cook. It was USC that opened his eyes to the wonders of seasonal cooking and he spent the next two and a half years working his way through every station.

In 1999, Dan was asked to be a part of the opening team of Tabla Restaurant and spent the next seven years working his way up, becoming Tabla’s first Chef de Cuisine. Under Chef Floyd Cardoz’s direction, Dan was able to fine-tune his cooking techniques, the balance of flavors and textures in his dishes, and the use of Indian spices. Upon leaving Tabla, Dan was hired by Tom Colicchio as the Executive Chef for a project he was consulting on called The Core Club. Dan spent the next four years as the clubs culinary leader transforming the way a “members only” dining room was experienced.

Dan left The Core Club in late 2008 to join the Jean- Georges team where he’s helped open restaurants in Arizona, Utah, DC and New York. In 2010, Dan opened ABC Kitchen as the executive chef and while there won multiple awards including the 2011 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant as well as being honored as Food & Wine Best New Chef of 2012. In 2013, he added another ABC restaurant to his resume ABC Cocina, leading both Kitchen and Cocina as the Executive Chef. Most recently Dan was nominated for the 2014 James Beard Award for Best Chef New York City. When Dan isn’t cooking, he spends time with his wife and two daughters.

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What is your favorite NYC restaurant? And what is your go-to dish? I think it’s a toss up between Estela and Shuko. I love the flavor profiles and style of cooking at Estela and have always enjoyed everything Ignacio cooks. At Shuko I am always blown away with the vast variety of fish and the way each one is approached a little differently. What is your ultimate meal? Definitely one where I am not cooking and instead fully relaxed and surrounded by friends and family. My friend Will is an amateur BBQ “aficionado” and I love nothing more than something fresh out of his smoker and a glass of wine. What three things are always in your pantry? California Olive Ranch Olive Oil, Lemons, Dried Chilies If you weren't a chef, what would you be? If I wasn’t a chef, I’d probably be a physical therapist or a carpenter.

Grain Salad with Smoked Chili Aioli and Spring Vegetables

 

 

Directions:

For the Smoked Chili Aioli:
2 Cups House Mayo (or your favorite store bought)
3 Tbsp. Scallions – Grilled then chopped fine
1 Tbsp. Pickled Red Onions – Sliced red onions and cover with red wine vinegar and allow to sit for 2 hours.
4 Tbsp. Canned Chipotles – Chopped and with the juice
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. Tabasco
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. Lemon Juice

Combine everything in a bowl and whisk well.

For the Dressing:
1st Set
½ Cup Lemon Juice
¼ Cup Sherry Vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 ½ tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Shallots – Minced
2 Tbsp. Oregano – Chiffonade
1 Cup Olive Oil

Mix the first set of ingredients in a bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

For the Grains:
Grains (Freekeh, Emmer, Warthog)
2 Gal. Water
1 Cup Salt

2 Sprigs Rosemary
5 Sprigs Thyme

You will need to cook each grain separately. Mix the water and salt. Cover 1 cup of each grain with the seasoned water and herbs, simmer slowly until cooked through and tender (about 1 hour). Drain well, remove herbs and combine all grains once cooked, reserving 1 cup of freekeh to dehydrate. Discard the cooking liquid.

Dehydrate 1 cup Freekah overnight. In a pot, heat up canola oil to 375° and fry the dried grains until it pops like popcorn. Drain, season with salt and make sure to change the paper towel to make sure to absorb all oil. This step can be skipped for logistical and time saving purposes, but it adds great texture to the salad.

For the Spring Vegetable Mix:
4 Bu. Baby Turnips – Cut into wedges
4 Bu. Baby Carrots – Use assorted colors, cut into oblique
¼ Cup. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Season each vegetable separately in a bowl with olive oil and salt. Place each vegetable on a parchment-lined tray and bake in the oven. Stir the vegetables every few minutes. When the vegetables are lightly roasted and tender but not mushy, remove from the heat and cool down.

For Assembling the Salad: (4 Plates)
4 Oz. Aioli – 1 Oz. per plate
4 Cups Soft Grain – 2 Oz. per plate
1 Cup Crunchy Grains – 1 Oz. per plate
4 Oz. Dressing- 1 Oz. per plate
4 Cups Roasted Vegetables – 1 Cup per plate
4 Cups English Peas – Blanched in salted water
4 Cups Radicchio – Cut into ¼“ ribbons
4 Tbsp. Watermelon Radish – Diced into ¼” pieces
4 Pcs. Red Radish – Sliced thin on a mandolin
1 Cup Dill, Parsley, Sorrel – Equal portions, rough chopped and mixed. Nice pinch per plate.
As needed Lemon Zest

In a mixing bowl, combine soft and crunchy grains, roasted vegetables, watermelon radish, radish, herbs, and mix with the dressing. Take a bowl and spread the aioli on the bottom, top with the grains mix and finish with more shaved radish, chiffonade sorrel and lemon zest.