FR Thanksgiving Interview: Mike Price
Market Table chef is cooking in his prime
Since early 2007, Mike Price (everybody calls him Mikey) has been running the show at beloved West Village restaurant Market Table. That is where he and partner Joey Campanaro (The Little Owl) have honed their seasonal sensibility that transcends any of that “farm-to-table” marketing tomfoolery you've been overloaded with for the past few years.
The cooking at Market Table is simple, flavorful and expertly prepared. Think sautéed flounder with parsnip, golden beets and cumin citronette. Think braised rabbit cavatelli and skate with locally foraged mushrooms. Market Table fully comes to life in the autumn months and we were lucky enough to have Price stop by to talk about the season’s big day: Thanksgiving.
Describe what it’s like to cook seasonally right now.
Corn is hanging around but squash is right around the corner. Concord grapes and apples as well. There’s definitely a lot of nice menu changes coming up.
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving leftover dish?
I know everybody says this, but I am pro turkey sandwich.
How do you do it?
Pullman loaf, sliced turkey, little bit of stuffing on there with cranberry sauce and a shot of gravy. Hot, wet.
So you go hot? That’s an important distinction.
Dip the sliced turkey into the gravy and then put it on the sandwich. I also love a nice turkey gumbo, especially when it gets cold outside. There’s so much meat that you can pick off that bone that is not going sliced on a sandwich. It’s tough not to make a turkey soup if you have the whole roasted bones there – it’s so easy to make a stock.
What’s your tip for getting the meal straight-up done?
Get started early. Get the stuffing made, in the pan and ready to go so you just have to heat it up in the oven. What happens is that you don’t have an enjoyable Thanksgiving because you are stuck in the kitchen all day doing a bunch of work, anxious that you are behind. My advice is to take the day before Thanksgiving off [laughs].
What are some family traditions that you had?
When I was a child, it was always a big holiday. Both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – somewhere between 20 and 30 people showed up. My grandfather always carved the turkey, if not two. He was a butcher so that was his job – his job was to cut the turkey, butter the biscuits and pass them around [laughs].
Has he passed that down to anyone?
I guess to me, if I had to look at somebody. Whenever I’m there, everyone always looks at me like, “Alright, you’re carving the turkey” [laughs].
Market Table, 54 Carmine St., New York, NY, 212-255-2100, markettablenyc.com
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