Marc Murphy Is Serious About Surfing

When you walk into Marc Murphy's restaurant Ditch Plains on the Upper West Side, you can't miss the surfing theme (in a good way). After all, the urban fish shack is named after a popular Long Island surfing spot. Large photographs on the wall show beautiful scenes of surfers catching waves (they were taken by the chef's family) and old surfing movies play on the TVs. Clearly, Marc is into the sport.

When did you start surfing?

About five or six years ago. My wife bought me this surfboard for Father's Day. She thought it would look nice leaned up against the house ib Long Island and I ended up going into the ocean and figuring out how to do it.

How hard was it in the beginning?

I'm pretty determined to do things sometimes. So I was just going out and basically getting my but kicked a lot by those waves. It's literally the only sport that I've ever done where at the end of the day every muscle in my body is hurting. I'm no professional I'll tell you that. I'm a very moderate beginner, but I have a lot of fun doing it. I would be a lot better if I could just quit this damn job and go to Costa Rica for three months!

What keeps you coming back?

What's great about it is that you just paddle out and spend two or three hours out there, whatever you want. You just wait for a wave and you end up talking to people in the line up and everyone is really cool and relaxed. It's a great atmosphere. The people are great—kind of like in kitchens. It's the same sort of thing.

Where's your favorite place to surf?

I've been to Costa Rica a few times, but I usually surf in Montauk and Ditch Plains.

You must be hungry after all of that work—what do you eat when you're back on land?

It depends where you are, but out in Montauk there's a place called Cyril's. All the guys in the kitchen are Jamaican and they make a really good jerk chicken. So if I go surfing for three or four hours, I'll pull over and go to Cyril's and get some jerk chicken with rice, plantains, and a beer. That's always a good way to end a day.