Laurence Edelman’s passion for food began when he was a child. His interest in food, however, differed from that of his peers; he enjoyed calves liver and snails, while his friends likely preferred fruit roll-ups and pudding cups.
Edelman grew up in New Jersey before heading to New Orleans to study Philosophy at Tulane. He then moved to Boston, fully committed to pursuing his passion for the culinary arts. He served as a sous chef at a number of restaurants there, finally making his way to the Big Apple. His love for food is strongly reflected in his latest restaurant, Left Bank, where he focuses on fresh, local ingredients and simple yet innovative recipes.
“When the animals are happy, the vegetables are natural and fresh, the oils, butters, and fats are pure, and the herbs are green and wet, the result will be fantastic,” Edelman says. Read on for our exclusive interview with him:
Q: What made you want to become a chef?
A: I had to work, and I had gotten out of college and wasn’t exactly sure what I really wanted to do. I had only ever worked in restaurants or kitchens, first job I ever had. I knew that I really loved it, so I decided I was going to take it really seriously. That was about 18 years ago.
Q: Is there any place you’ve travelled that’s impacted your cooking?
A: Italy, Vietnam, England, anywhere in Europe. I lived in New Orleans for five years; it didn’t really impact my cooking, but there were a lot of good eats!
Q: What’s the best cooking advice you’ve ever received?
A: You can’t take away the salt. And go slowly, when cooking. Go slowly and learn how to do it right.
Q: What’s one budget item that should be on every home gourmet’s grocery list?
A: Extra virgin olive oil.
Q: Do you have some advice for amateur chefs?
I would just say read cookbooks. Read a lot of cookbooks.
Chef Challenge: Learn how to make pasta!
– Pareesha Narang