3/18/2013 02:04:00 PM

10 of the Oddest (and Most Interesting) Food Jobs in New York

Evan Strusinski, Forager
If you go out to eat regularly, it’s pretty easy to catch on to the basics of how New York’s restaurants operate. And even if you don’t dine out as frequently as we do, you probably know that Pat LaFrieda is the gold standard for beef, Union Square Greenmarket is the place to go for fresh produce and that there's a difference between a sous chef and a chef de cuisine. But not every notable job in the food industry involves mastering braised meats, supplying local produce or even working in a restaurant, for that matter. With a culinary scene as big as ours, there’s a story behind every foraged mushroom and Parisian import - and a bevy of interesting, unusual gigs to go along with them.

From a 20-year-old who’s running his own truffle empire to a bona fide expert on bitters and a live lobster dealer, these individuals are essential to a restaurant’s operation and New York’s foodie makeup, regardless of whether they own chef whites or not.

Take a peek behind the curtain to learn about these foragers, entrepreneurs and purveyors - and to see who’s making the magic happen in New York’s edible wonderland.

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