Chef Mike Ferraro

Michael Ferraro is the Executive Chef and Partner at Delicatessen; one of my “go-to” restaurants in New York City. Serving about 1,000 people a day, Chef Michael cooks up a menu that “appeals to the masses” and can be best described as international comfort food. I had the opportunity to catch up with Chef Michael this week and have come away even more impressed by this NoLiTa hotspot than I was before. Chef Michael exclaims that “people don’t realize how easy it is to make good food be gluten free,”  and he comments that over 50% of the entrees on his menu are naturally  or can be made gluten free.

Favorite orders…
Chef Michael notes that his menu has options for all diets. For example, the pan roasted scallop dish, steak frites, and pan roasted chicken are all gluten free and crowd favorites. These entrees pass the ‘comfort food’ taste test with flying colors; the pan roasted chicken is served with whipped potatoes and haricot verts and is the epitome of comfort food . Nothing is taken away from this classic dish so that it suits the nobread lifestyle; it is naturally gluten free! For those who follow a vegan diet, Chef Michael recommends the kale salad and exclaims that he purposely excludes dairy and all animal proteins from this dish to make what he exclaims is a “kick-ass kale salad.” I can attest to this- it’s awesome.

Cross contamination…
Foods cooked in the fryer at Delicatessen, like their mind-blowing truffle fries, ARE cooked in the same fryer as dishes containing flour. However, Chef Michael insists that this cross contamination only effects the MOST sensitive of people. Two dishes Chef Michael highlights that unfortunately CANNOT be made gluten free are the tuna tartar and the spring role. The tuna tartar is made with a soy vinaigrette that Chef Michael has not yet found an alternative for, and the spring roll is made with rice paper that has a small amount of flour.

On educating the waitstaff…
The 3 page menu that patrons see is a shrunken version of a 30 page menu that is used in the kitchen. On this menu, ingredients used in each dish are listed, and the menu is full of pictures, descriptions, and notes all allergens. Not only does the menu list all ingredients in each dish, but it also explains to the severs how each dish can be modified to accommodate specific food restrictions.

Thank you, Chef Michael Ferraro for taking the time to speak with nobread and for serving QUALITY gluten free food!