At Home: Greg Hardesty's Kitchen

A top chef admits to snacks and leftovers when no one’s looking.

Esteemed chef Greg Hardesty recently announced the closing of his Midtown restaurants, Recess and Room Four. After letting us into his home kitchen a few years ago, we have to wonder: Where will he wash his own dishes now? Here’s the story, from 2013.
Greg Hardesty doesn’t care what anyone says: You can’t get food to taste as good at home as when it’s made in a restaurant. He insists his recipes taste better when they come off the line at Recess and Room Four—maybe it’s those old, seasoned pans. So for family meals, Hardesty does most of the major prepping and cooking at his restaurant and treats his personal kitchen as an assembly area.
Former homeowner John Vanausdall, president of the Eiteljorg Museum, handmade all of the glass-front cabinets.
“My mom gave these to Susan [Greg’s wife]. She only uses them for ‘special people.’ The neighbor kids have been reprimanded for using them.”
“Sometimes I’ll make a cucumber, onion, jalapeño, and lettuce sandwich. I’ll slather a bunch of mayo and Sriracha on there, with a little squirt of soy sauce. I’ve crushed three in one sitting.”
“Most of our dinners at home come from leftover mise en place from Recess and Room Four.”
“You get in a rhythm with pistachios, and before you know it, it’s time to empty the shell bowl for a refill.”
“Ninety-five percent of my ordering and menu-writing process occurs in bed before I get up. I’ll make a list of what I have and just start plugging in the ingredients.”
“Once it’s uncorked at the restaurant, it has to be consumed.”
“I use it as a pepper mill.”
“Joel Robuchon probably influenced me more than anything or anyone. It just makes you want to make every cut with the knife and every sear of the meat perfect.”
“It’s not mine. I hate aprons. Anything around my neck drives me insane.”
“I rarely use it. I take pots and pans back to Recess for cleanup. You can’t beat a 90-second industrial dishwasher.”