A Conversation with Celebrity Chef Angie Mar
I had the pleasure to interview, celebrity Chef Angie Mar. Chef Angie Mar has spent most of her life around the world of food. A native of Seattle, Washington, she comes from a family of food lovers and restaurateurs. Her aunt was the infamous Ruby Chow who pioneered Chinese cuisine in Seattle and these deep rooted ties have given Angie an innate love for bringing people together around a dining table. Angie had the privilege of getting her training in some of New York City’s renowned kitchens, including honing her skills at whole animal butchery and open fire techniques at Andrew Tarlow’s lauded Brooklyn restaurants Reynard, Diner, and Marlow & Sons. She went on to work at The Spotted Pig, where she learned her dedication to perfection and a love of simplicity. In October 2013, Angie took the helm of storied West Village restaurant, The Beatrice Inn. Best known for her love of working with whole animals, live fire and dry aging techniques, she revamped the menu and began to create her signature style. Under Angie’s guidance and vision, The Beatrice has become one of the most coveted reservations in the city, known for its meat forward menu and show-stopping presentations.
Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?
I am a career changer. I moved to New York City almost 10 years ago to pursue a career in cooking and have never looked back. It’s ironic that as I come from a family of food lovers and restauranteurs, it took me so long to find the path that I genuinely love.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
It would probably have to be walking out of my own James Beard dinner to go back to the Beatrice because the critic for the Times showed up. I had to make a choice, and in the end, it was absolutely the right one. The irony though!
What would you advise to someone who wants to emulate your career?
To work hard. To take no prisoners. To be bold and unapologetic. And above all, to pay it forward.
Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?
Pat La Frieda has been one of my closest friends and advisors, and I truly believe that I would not be where I am today if it was not for his guidance. When the opportunity to buy the Beatrice came about, I was unsure of the decision…The restaurant had so much negative history, and I wasn’t sure if I could turn it around. I called Pat, and he said, “Angela, everyone thought you were crazy to take that job, and it worked out. Buying the restaurant would just be doubling down on crazy. Buy the damn restaurant.” I started working on the deal the next day.
Even now, I will call him to run things by him, for my business, for my team. Pat has been an invaluable part of my success, and I feel so fortunate to have him in my life.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Are you working on any meaningful or exciting nonprofit projects?
City Harvest has always been one of my favorite charities. When my father and his siblings were growing up, it was always a constant struggle to put food on the table. When they got into the culinary industry, they always made it a point to give back. That principle has carried over to my generation and how we give back at the Beatrice. It’s a privilege to be able to feed our guests every night. But what an even bigger privilege to be able to help our fellow New Yorkers. This city has given me so much, and I am honored that I can be a part of City Harvest and have the bandwidth to be able to return even a fraction of the favor. I’m so excited that on July 16, I will be cooking a very special dinner with Pat in support of City Harvest. Merging these two very important areas of my life — my personal and professional journey to being the chef I am today, with my passion for feeding my city — is so special to me, and I’m looking forward to an unforgettable evening.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
“The Devil is in the details. But so is salvation.” Hyman G. Rickover
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
I would have loved to have dinner with Anthony Bourdain. I met him several times, but never got the opportunity to feed him. His words had such a huge impact on my career and how I look at this industry, and if I could turn back time, it would be to feed him.
Originally published at medium.com