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Home > DINING WITH CHEFS > New York Dining with Chefs > South Gate (Part 1 of 2)

South Gate

Executive Chef Kerry Heffernan

TravelsinTaste.com recently sat down for dinner with Executive Chef Kerry Heffernan of South Gate in the newly refurbished Essex House across the street from Central Park. Before we started our meal, however, we started our conversation, which began with a discussion of his move to the Essex House, his favorite parts of the new restaurant and the behind-the-scenes surprises he’s found since opening it.

Frozen Meyer Lemon Parfait

First, we asked Chef Heffernan how he got from 11 Madison Park -- his previous restaurant -- to South Gate. “11 Madison was an extraordinary experience,” he told us. “Danny [Meyer] is so wonderful; he’s such a great guy. We worked together for almost eight years at 11 Madison. We opened it and developed it. We had done a lot of catering and large events through 11 Madison and we were developing a catering facility together called Hudson Yards. So, I went to develop that with Danny. I had a great time doing it -- did some amazing parties -- but eventually I realized that I wanted to be back in restaurants. That led me here to this project, with Tony Chi as the architect, and this amazing room with views of Central Park. You’ll see as the natural light fades that the fireplace and the mirrors create this glow and this warmth that I think is special. They came to me and said, ‘We’d like you to come on; we have the bones we want you to create the vision that fills the flesh.’”

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