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For those of us who are car geeks, the New York International Auto Show is like the Aspen Food and Wine Festival. The annual showcase for the automotive world kicks off this Friday and runs through April 27 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. As we're getting amped up to see the latest Audis, Benzes and Cadillacs, we asked 5 chefs from around the US to tell us about their current rides, their dream cars and the best food-related road trips they've ever taken. Check it out. 

For those of us in the food world who happen to be car geeks, the New York International Auto Show is like the Aspen Food and Wine Festival. The annual showcase for the automotive world kicks off this Friday and runs through April 27 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. As we’re getting amped up to see the latest Audis, Benzes and Cadillacs, we asked 5 chefs from around the US to tell us about their current rides, their dream cars and the best food-related road trips they’ve ever taken. Check it out.

Following a test drive for Robb Report, chef Josiah Citrin craves the speed of the Ferrari F12.


Josiah Citrin, chef/owner, Mélisse (Los Angeles, CA)

What kind of car do you currently drive and how do you feel about it?
I currently drive a Porsche 911 Carrera 4. Great car! I enjoy driving it every day.

What’s the best car you’ve ever owned and what happened to it?
A 1963 Chevy Nova that my grandfather gave me. For many years I was planning on keeping it for my son, until one day I decided I would prefer to have him in a car with airbags, so I sold it to a friend.

What’s your dream car and why?
Ferrari F12. I was fortunate to be asked to test drive the best cars of the year for Robb Report. The Ferrari F12 was by far my favorite. The way it handled the road truly amazed me.

What’s in your trunk and what’s in your glove compartment?
I don’t have a trunk in my car. My glove box has restaurant keys, sunglasses, a wine opener and a tire pressure gauge.

What’s the best food road trip you’ve ever taken in a car (and which kind of car)?
It was in 1997 with my wife, Diane, and our friends chef Kazuto Matsusaka and chef Vicki Phan. We drove a 1991 Citroën CX Athenea we nicknamed the “Silver Surfer” from Paris to Burgundy to the Rhone Valley to the Savoy Mountains.



Kevin Nashan, chef/owner, Sidney Street Cafe (St. Louis, MO)

What kind of car do you currently drive and how do you feel about it?
[Chevy] Suburban. I love it!!

What’s the best car you’ve ever owned and what happened to it?
Either my Suburban or Toyota Land Cruiser — both are built like tanks! The Land Cruiser I sold when I moved to NYC. 

What’s your dream car and why?
Either an IH scout, or a 356 Porsche (1948)

What’s in your trunk and what’s in your glove compartment?
No trunk. In the glove compartment I currently have insurance papers, change, scissors to cut herbs and other edible stuff, a book on wild edibles…..

What’s the best food road trip you’ve ever taken in a car (and which kind of car)?
There have been many. Probably the best one in recent memory was last summer. I took my brother and five of my cooks to Chicago for one day. We ate at the Slurping Turtle, Yusho, Au Cheval, Trencherman, Publican, Big Star, GT Fish and Oyster and then for dessert we did a full vegan tasting menu at Next. Oh and by the way this was to and from in one day, all in the Suburban.



Ralph Scamardella, chef/partner, TAO Downtown (New York, NY)

What kind of car do you currently drive and how do you feel about it?
Audi A6 Quattro 4.3. Love it; it’s a sports car feel in a sedan.

What’s the best car you’ve ever owned and what happened to it?
Porsche 911 Turbo, black on black. I got remarried.

What’s your dream car and why?
’68 Pontiac GTO. It’s the ultimate muscle car.

What’s in your trunk and what’s in your glove compartment?
Trunk: Golf clubs, a bat and synthetic motor oil. Glove compartment: CDs

What’s the best food road trip you’ve ever taken in a car (and which kind of car)?
A four-day BBQ trip across southern Texas in a Cadillac sedan.



Anthony Martin, executive chef/partner, Tru (Chicago, IL)

What kind of car do you currently drive and how do you feel about it?
I like to mix it up. Currently I alternate between a Jeep SRT8 and a bike — which is a Kawasaki ZX10. They are both incredibly fast. Real fast. I’ve upgraded the heads, cam and exhaust in both, which increases the amount of gas to the engine immensely. 

What’s the best car you’ve ever owned and what happened to it?
Z06 Corvette. I drove it when I was in Atlanta and Las Vegas, but when I came to Chicago, with the winters and terrible roads, I had to get realistic, and it is currently stored at my parents’ in Ohio. I’m thinking about bringing it back to Chicago for summers.

What’s your dream car and why?
A fully restored, all-original GTO that I could give to my father, as he had one back when he was younger.

What’s in your trunk and what’s in your glove compartment?
Speakers with 12-inch subwoofers. In the glove box, just my insurance card and registration.

What’s the best food road trip you’ve ever taken in a car (and which kind of car)?
I test-drove a Dodge Viper from Canton to Cleveland to have mango margaritas with my brother at Lopez Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Lounge in Cleveland.



Chef Greg Baker misses his 1965 Ford Thunderbird, which he eventually donated. Photo: Sicnag on Flickr.


Greg Baker, executive chef/owner, The Refinery (Tampa, FL)

What kind of car do you currently drive and how do you feel about it?
I drive a 2012 Dodge Challenger RT. It’s a total dude car, but I love it. It’s got all the horsepower of every old muscle car that I’ve ever owned, but this one starts reliably and has air conditioning (a major plus in Florida).

What’s the best car you’ve ever owned and what happened to it?
That’s a toss-up; at one point I owned a 1965 Peugeot 404 Sedan and a 1965 Ford Thunderbird. They were both fun for completely different reasons. Whichever started that day was what I drove to work. Ultimately, they were both donated to the Humane Society when I decided that I needed a little more reliability and bought a new truck.

What’s your dream car and why?
The 1967 version of my current car – with working air conditioning.

What’s in your trunk and what’s in your glove compartment?
Trunk: tool box, glass fermenter jugs, hobo log and machete. Glove compartment: boring – owner’s manual, warranty, registration, insurance, Philips head screwdriver (for killing zombies)

What’s the best food road trip you’ve ever taken in a car (and which kind of car)?
Florence to Sienna to Castello Nuovo Berradenga and back in a Fiat Punto. There was tripe, Tuscan rib eye, veal liver mousse, a surly waiter who scolded me for not eating shrimp heads, a life changing apple that taught me the significance of terroir, a stay with Giuseppe Mazzocolin at Fattoria di Felsina, gelato, Irish bars and a horribly tiny car. I think that ‘Punto’ might translate into a somewhat emasculating term – Christ, the original Hyundais were bigger than this thing. But to be fair, I was used to driving my land yacht of a T-Bird at the time, which would never have made it through the tiny streets, so I guess it served its purpose.