Over the past 15 years Dan Kluger has worked under some of world’s top chefs (Jean-Gorges Vongerichten, Tom Colicchio, Floyd Cardoz) at some of the best restaurants across the country. Now, as executive chef of and abc cocina and abc kitchen — where he earned best chef honors by Time Out New York and Food & Wine — he’s elevated the farm-to-table greenmarket approach to new heights. Between October 9-12, Kluger will showcase his delectable offerings at the five-star Park Hyatt Tokyo(where he’ll don custom Todd Snyder aprons, of course). Though his friend and Gramercy Tavern exec chef Michael Anthony did a similar stint at the Shinjuku-based hotel last year, Kluger has no idea what to expect having never visited Tokyo. Look out for some photo dispatches from his travels in the coming weeks.
Will you tailor the menu with certain dishes/ingredients specific to Tokyo?
Some of the dishes are great beginning-of-Fall menu items from the abc kitchen menu. There are certain items like our mushroom pizza and one of our guests’ favorite, the kabocha squash toast. These will be found on the New York Grill bar menu. For all of the dishes, we will be sourcing produce and protein locally from Japan. Very excited to go to the Tsukiji fish market as well as to the farmer’s markets there. I hear the produce is perfect without any blemishes and amazing in flavor, all around.
Are you doing any speciality items you can talk about?
Sure. For one of our dishes we’re using Amadai fish which is local to the waters of Japan. It’s similar to a red snapper and it will be served with a vinaigrette that I’ll hopefully be making with some great local Shine Muscat grapes. It’s interesting that their beginning-of-Fall produce is very similar to ours currently in NYC along with a lot of different varietals of items like squashes, greens, grapes, radishes, and etc. that you wouldn’t see in the States.
What kind of reaction do you anticipate?
I’m looking forward to working with their team and seeing how a kitchen is run in Japan. Reaction-wise, I’m hoping that by bringing a bit of my approach and flavor to New York Grill, they can get a decent grasp of what I do at abc kitchen. I think they might be surprised with the different flavor combinations as we are typically produce heavy using fruits and vegetables in different ways that maybe they are not used to having highlighted in their dishes.
What are you looking to see on your trip?
This will be my first Trip to Tokyo and I’m really going off of a lot of recommendations from different friends in the industry. I’m really excited about the food culture. I’m definitely going to get some amazing sushi, ramen, yakitori and try to hit up some great places for cocktails. I have no doubt I will be blown away by the food scene there. I also hope to get to see some men’s clothing stores and see a little of what my buddy Todd Snyder goes to Tokyo for.
Anything you’re hoping to eat?
I can’t wait to see the Tsukiji Market and eat sashimi for breakfast and sushi all around. Really looking forward to finding some amazing Japanese plateware to take back and just exploring their grocery stores and markets. I’m also looking forward to trying Izakayas which I heard has great local pub food. An amazing bowl of tsukemen ramen at Yamigishi’s spot is also on my list.